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Baseball’s Albert Pujols Talks Legacy with CBN Sports

CBN.com -Albert Pujols' swing has reached rare heights of achievement. Earlier this season he became baseball's third fastest player to hit 500 career home runs. His offense has been a fixture of consistency. Albert says, "I train real hard. And I think also to have the experience of being in some tough situations, bottom of the 9th, man in scoring position, pressure. Do the things that –that you need to do to get you ready for 162 games."

In 2012, the 3-time MVP and 9-time All-Star left the St. Louis Cardinals. His success earned him a 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. Now in his 14th Major League season, Albert endures and defies age, saying, "Your body wears out. I've played close to 2,000 and some games, that's a lot of games. I always want to be in the field no matter what. I believed that it was my responsibility to be out and die for my team."

His passionate commitment goes past baseball. Albert insists, "I've been blessed with so much in the field and off the field."

Albert and his wife Dee Dee lead The Pujols Family Foundation, meeting needs of those living with Down Syndrome and improving the lives of the impoverished in the Dominican Republic. Albert says, "we want to put others first. We want to make a difference. We are doing His work. We want to do the things that God's calling us to do, with a person that I make contact with every day."

Dee Dee explains, "It could be in the heart of an impoverished community in the Dominican. It could be at a restaurant. It could be on the baseball field. Like, I think it's the compassion that's kind of that catapult to, um, launch us into whatever action we're going to take."

And wherever it takes them. While baseball provides the platform, Albert's consistent, abiding faith provides his perspective.

Albert believes, "you need to make sure who you represent. And that's the Lord Jesus Christ. And He's the one who keeps me humble. Because I believe that it's not about me, and He changed me to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. And He has told me to care about other people first and I'm able to put that through the foundation now. I honor and thank Him every day for giving me this platform and the opportunity."

Their mission trips to the Dominican Republic are motivated by great empathy. It's where Albert grew up and once used limes as baseballs to practice the game he loved. Albert remembers, "as a little boy I just wanted to be a professional athlete. If you go down to the D-R, every corner you see people playing baseball, you know, whether it's in the street, in the park, in their backyard. And that was my dream."

That dream has been fulfilled, and then some! It now extends to influencing lives.

Dee Dee says, "there is no greater gift in the world that you give somebody than your service. The people who are serving really get the reward. This foundation is about Jesus. It's just the idea of being like Him."

For Albert and Dee Dee that means direct involvement through outreaches, events and interaction. Albert says, "we take that opportunity, not just going down in our mission trip or any of our event to just give a check or pass a bed, but we tell them where that gift come from. We take that opportunity to share our testimony to talk about Him."

Dee Dee has watched her husband the slugger, motivated by an awareness of God's love, initiate generous acts of service and time, saying, "the unmerited favor that is shown in his life from the time of coming out of a third world nation … God keeps showing up. He keeps rising him to the next level. And to witness God's love for him, makes me want to be a greater part of his life."

Albert Pujols, iconic baseball great, rounding the bases while heading home, in a life that's more than just a game. "Where He has taken me, is just amazing! Just give Him an opportunity to let the Lord come into your life and transform you. God is always there. And He's always going to be there for us. Whenever we want to, He's going to receive you with His arm open."

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