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“Pujols: More than the Game”

Pujols_game-ending_homer_June4_2011There are some guys you want to believe in.
Even when they seem too good to be true.

For me, baseball superstar Albert Pujols is one of those guys.

Born in the Dominican Republic in 1980, he immigrated to the United States as a teenager in 1996 with family members. And with practically no English.

Pujols_More_than_the_Game_by_Lamb_and_EllsworthBut he made the high school baseball team in Independence, Missouri, and was drafted three years later by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999, making his MLB debut on April 2, 2001 (also winning the NL Rookie of the Year award). He’s been with St. Louis ever since.

His career highlights are too many to list, including three NL MVP awards (’05, ’08, ’09), World Series champion (’06), All-Star team nine times, Gold Glove awards, Silver Slugger awards, on and on. As of June 6, he’s totaled 421 home runs and has a batting average of .329.

If you want to know stats, you’ll find lots of them in Pujols: More than the Game. But as the title suggests, you’ll find more than just stats in this book.

Authors Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth give you a glimpse into Albert’s life and let you see his solid Christian character.

When Albert because a husband to Deidre in 2000, he also became the father of her daughter Isabella who has Down syndrome.

And he has championed her cause ever since. He established the Pujols Family Foundation partly to benefit people with Down syndrome and other disabilities, as well as for poor families living in the Dominican Republic. He visits his homeland often to give back.

His lifestyle is different from many professional athletes. The authors point that out in the first chapter of this book. Their goal is for you to see more than Albert in their book: along with Albert, they want you to see the God who created Albert.

“You know how I want people to remember me?

I don’t want to be remembered as the best baseball player ever.

I want to remembered as a great guy who loved the Lord, loved to serve the community and who gave back.

That’s the guy I want to be remembered as when I’m done wearing the uniform. That’s from the bottom of my heart.”

          ~ ALBERT PUJOLS

If he keeps heading the same direction, he will be remembered for that. Albert_Pujols_Sports_Illustrated_believe_in_me

In an era of great stars who often are discovered to be using illegal drugs, I pray that Albert is as clean as he claims to be. 

In a Sports Illustrated cover article in 2009, his message to us was:
“Don’t be afraid to believe in me.”

Okay, Albert.
I’m believing.
Don’t let me down.

* * *

What athlete with faith do you cheer for, not just for their abilities but for their testimony? 

Thanks to Thomas Nelson for the review copy of this book.


Melissa said...

I just got this book for my Kindle because Amazon had a $2.99 special.

I like Josh Hamilton, who plays baseball for the Texas Rangers. He's got a great testimony.

Lisa notes... said...

The book is good, but I did skim through some of the stats. :-)

I like Josh Hamilton too ever since I saw him on I Am Second. We also cheer for Josh Willingham because he and his family are from the same small school where my husband grow up (a few years ago! Ha). He’s been with the Marlins, the Nationals, and now traded to the Oakland A’s.

Barbara H. said...

Sounds neat! I'm not familiar with current athletes and am not a sports fan generally, but I loved Heir To a Dream by Pete Maravich and Comeback and then When You Can't Come Back by Dave Dravecky. I read of both men after seeing an interview with them on TV. There was just something genuine about each.

Cassandra Frear said...

My sons cheer for athletes and integrity matters a lot. I can remember how hard it was for them when a hero was exposed -- gambling, drugs, illegal activities, extramarital affairs -- very hard on them. I'm glad there were some who stood firm. Integrity matters!

Lisa notes... said...

I love when you can see the genuine factor in athletes. So many will say the words, “I thank God” but you can’t tell if they mean it or not. But those who really live it are always an inspiration.

Lisa notes... said...

I know; it’s sad when our kids (and us!) get let down by those we look up to. It happens all too often. But I guess it just goes to show that we all need a Savior and there’s only One who we can fully place our trust in. Yes, integrity definitely matters!

Donna said...

I recently heard of a college athlete who gave her heart to the Lord and now shares Christ with other youth as part of Athletes in Action. Listening to her father share her story was inspiring.

denise said...

Scott and Davis are reading that right now because I saw it on your reading list. Gray brought it on his trip over so I could give it to Scott for his birthday. Jim read it in one day while he was here before heading to Russia.

Lisa notes... said...

How cool! I hope they enjoy it. They’ll probably get more out of the actual baseball part than I did. :-)

Praying y'all are doing well.

Brother Ollie said...

Great post - this is better than SI - well done.

Lisa notes... said...

Thanks, Ollie. Maybe I can write for SI someday. I know a few suggestions I could make there already... ;-)


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