Thursday, February 17, 2011


I recently had the privilege of reading the book Pujols: More Than The Game by Union's own Tim Ellsworth.

Albert Pujols is widely considered the best baseball player in the game today. He has multiple accolades including MVPs and All-Star Game nominations. His first ten seasons in the league have rivaled the best 10 seasons in MLB history.

But, as the title would indicate, this book is about more than the game. Tim Ellsworth and Scott Lamb provide great behind the scenes insight into Albert's roots, his character, and what drives him as a player. His life is chronicled from its modest beginnings in the Dominican Republic, his relocation to America, to him being drafted 602nd by the St. Louis Cardinals, and his 10 seasons in the big leagues. We also read about his wife and family and his activity in the Down Syndrome community.

It was a breath of fresh air to read about Albert's faith in Christ and how that impacts all areas of his life. As opposed to the athlete who thanks God for the win, but whose life doesn't seem to reflect Christ, Albert lives out his faith. Pujols strives to live a life of integrity, and to be God-honoring in all he does.

We as a society have a tendency to put athletes up on a pedestal. More often than not they do not live up to the unrealistic standards that we set for them. Sometimes we fail to realize that athletes are human beings with added temptations due to the fame and money, who live under a constant microscope and will inevitably make mistakes over time. Though the authors do not display Albert as living a perfect life, the book provides great examples of how Albert lives out his life for Christ.

As a Cardinal fan, I enjoyed the detail into his life, specifically going through each of the seasons he has spent with the Cardinals so far. It was quite intriguing to read of Albert before he was famous, to learn where he came from and how he achieved the status he has reached, all while avoiding many of the traps and downfalls that seem to ensnare those in similar situations.

I would recommend Pujols: More Than The Game to all Cardinals fans, to all baseball fans, and to anyone who is interested in a behind the scenes look at the life of a man who strives to live his life for Christ while simply being the best baseball player of his generation.

Now, a funny commercial:

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