Albert Pujols: A Hero's Worship
By Andrew Knox
The 700 Club
How do you spell superstar?
In St. Louis, it’s spelled with a ‘P’ and pronounced “poo-hols.”
Albert Pujols is one of baseball’s fastest rising talents, and he gives his credit to God.
“It doesn’t matter if I hit a home run. It doesn’t matter if we win a game. It doesn’t matter if I go four for four,” Pujols says. “Whatever happens at the end of the day, as long as I glorify His name, that’s what it’s all about.”
Albert made his Major League debut in 2001. Since then he’s in a league of his own, becoming the first player in baseball history to hit 30 or more home runs in each of his first five seasons.
“I always say God doesn’t need me, but I need Him in my life to survive in this world and over temptation. That’s Who keeps me humble every time.”
Not long after graduating high school, Albert met his soon-to-be wife, Deidre. She had recently re-dedicated her life to Christ after becoming a single mother. Her daughter Isabella was born with Down Syndrome and was only a few weeks old when Albert and Deidre started dating. They began attending church together on a regular basis. While Albert believed in God, he knew he was missing something.
“I knew that it wasn’t about religion just a relationship with the Lord, and it’s one of those times when you’re ready," Pujols says. "You’re harboring and you feel it. You open new eyes, and I’m ready for it. I think I was ready to receive the Lord in my life. I’m telling you, after that it’s just been amazing. It’s been the best seven years of my life.”
Albert is considered by many fans and baseball experts as the best player in the game today. If he’s able to stay healthy and keep up this incredible pace by the time it’s all said and done, he may be viewed as the best player in the history of baseball.
He gives God the glory, but has a little help from his coach and best friend.
“Don’t think too much at the plate,” Deidre tells him. “Don’t think too much when you’re in the game. Just do what you do, and He’ll draw men unto Himself through you.”
That’s exactly what God is doing through Albert.
“The kids look at me, ‘Ah, you’re my hero.’ I want to teach those kids. ‘Hey listen, God is my hero. He died on the cross for my sins, and He’s the one. That’s how I wanna live -- like Him and I want you guys to do the same thing.’”
He knows that millions of people are watching and hopes they notice something different.
“They look at me and say, ‘What does Albert have in his heart or in him that I don’t have?’ I want them to see this Jesus that I have in me,” he says.
Another way Albert and Deidre are reaching people is through the Pujols Family Foundation -- an organization dedicated to the development and care of people with Down Syndrome. The foundation also helps poor children in the Dominican Republic as well as reaching out to abused and single mothers.
Deidre says, “We can retire, and we can rest when we get to heaven. I mean now is the time God has put us in a position of power. I mean of great power. I believe in speaking out on his behalf and really speaking out on what is right.”
Albert and Deidre now have three children: Isabella, A.J., and Sophia. Dad is their hero not because of what he does on the field, but because of who he is off of it.
“We know that God won’t let us fall, and we let Him take the gears. Put the trust in Him. Whatever we go through, the good times or the bad times, he’s always going to be there for us.”
God has been there for Albert, and he says passing that love onto his children is a blessing.
“It’s amazing. They want to pray and get on their knees. That gives me so much excitement inside of me. I’m doing my job as a dad.”
He feels it’s his duty to share his heart with others around the world.
“If they don’t know the Lord, I encourage them to search for and open their hearts and their eyes. If something happens to me tomorrow, I’m going to go to heaven and that’s for sure because God’s promised to us in the Bible. I want to make sure that those people out there feel the same. At the end of the day as long as I glorify him and those 45,000 people know who I represent out there every time I step out on the field, that’s what it’s about. It’s about representing God.”
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