Modern Baseball Great: Albert Pujols
If you are a baseball fan of any team you have heard of Albert Pujols who plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. Albert Pujols is known be to one of the very best offensive players in the league, though his defensive contributions have also been far above average as well. Albert Pujols is known as a powerful and consistent hitter as well as a fantastic first baseman and is considered a real contributor to the St. Louis Cardinals team.
How He Started Out
While Albert Pujols is well known, his beginning wasn’t all that extraordinary. Jose Alberto Pujols was born in the Dominican Republic in 1980. His family did not immigrate to the United States of America until the early ‘90s, when they moved to New York City. As soon as Pujols arrived in the states he developed a love for the game of baseball, which was in full swing by the time his family moved again to Independence, Missouri. Pujols had a great time playing high school ball where he had a batting average of over .500. Pujols didn’t stop there, either. He attended Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City as a baseball player. Pujols was again a stand out player hitting a grand slam in his first game. Albert had a batting average of .461 his first season with the team!
Albert Pujols baseball career just continued to look up and in 1999 the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in the 13 th round of the draft. Many were surprised when Pujols turned down the pick and played instead with the Jayhawk League, which is in Kansas. This left St. Louis to sit and think about what they could do to get Pujols on their team, so they increased his signing bonus and Pujols signed and was sent to the developmental leagues straight away where he was again a stand out player!
Pujols made his appearance in the big leagues in 2001. Albert would make his first appearance in a game against the Colorado Rockies. It was a big deal for Pujols to be playing alongside some of the best in the major leagues such as Mark McGwire, Fernando Vina, Edgar Renteria, and more. Again, Pujols made a good appearance with the team that was not a one time thing but the beginning of what has been a very successful career to this point. Albert Pujols was named National League Rookie of the month by May of his first season and was also named to the prestigious Major League Baseball All Star team, which is an honor for any player in the big leagues.
While it is often said that Pujols struggled his first couple years at bat he still had better than average batting averages. By 2005 Albert Pujols had hit his stride and became the first player ever to hit more than 30 homeruns in each of his first five years in the big leagues! Of course, Albert Pujols was also the first player since Ted Williams to reach the goal of 100 runners batted in mark within six seasons, which is also a remarkable feat.
The 2006 baseball season has proved to be just as successful for Albert Pujols as his first several seasons. This 27 year old man continues to meet new personal goals and careers highs as well as make major league baseball history with his ability to make contact with the ball with an uncanny consistency. While Pujols has been moved around the field a bit from third base, to left field, and finally to first base he has continually made strides in this facet of the game as well. Though Albert Pujols didn’t start out his major league career at first base he has made it his domain and is known to be one of the best in the league.
Albert Pujols has received many awards and much recognition since his career officially began in 2001. Some of the mentionable awards have been Rookie of the Year in 2001, the Hank Aaron Award in 2003, the TSN Player of the Year award in 2003, NLCS MVP in 2004, National League MVP in 2005, and Pujols is also a five time all star as well. Pujols has also managed to win the Silver Slugger award in three different positions and has made history with his ability to hit homeruns! No matter how you look at it Albert Pujols is destined to be one of the Major League greats!