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Baseball Living Legend Albert Pujols: Faith, Family Trump On-Field Legacy

Adam S. Levy
Adam S. Levy

Three-time MVP. Two-time home run king. Two-time world champion.

Sure, Albert Pujols might be known for his otherworldly accomplishments on the field, but it’s off it where the slugger feels he does his best work.

“I feel the most important thing in my life is to share my testimony with everybody,” Pujols told reporters earlier this month at a news conference at Angel Stadium prior to a screening of a short film for I Am Second, a non-profit organization that describes itself as “a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others.”

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In the clip, the history-making hitter says the devout road he’s taken in his personal life has kept him on an even keel in the white hot spotlight of baseball’s elite for more than a decade.

Pujols — calling the film “a great opportunity to now see what I do off the field and who I represent” — said “the most important thing in my life and that is my relationship with Jesus Christ.”

In the bilingual piece, the Los Angeles Angels’ $254 million-dollar man stresses in both Spanish and English how his faith has kept him grounded through his storybook rise as an afterthought prospect from the Dominican Republic to one of baseball’s all-time greats

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“I don’t want people to remember me as just a baseball player — to me, off the field is more important than what I do on the field,” Pujols said. “Sure, I want to be a great baseball player, but I also wanted to be a Godly daddy and husband, setting an example for my kids.

“If you would ask me this 20 years ago, I would have told you that I thought it was about me.”

He said he encourages his colleagues to attend prayer groups on a regular basis, adding, “We have a service every Sunday in Spanish and English where you can learn more about how to get into a relationship with God — that’s how it started with me.

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“Strong Christians,” he said, citing former St. Louis Cardinals teammates (and current manager) Mike Matheny and J.D. Drew, “took me under their wings and encouraged me every day.”

Other A-list athletes who have been involved with I Am Second include Pujols’ Angels teammate Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Cowboy Jason Witten.

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