Albert Pujols is a hero. He doesn’t have to hit another home run. He doesn’t have to win another World Series. He doesn’t even have to get another hit. On Aug. 7, Pujols did what some may consider impossible. He made the professional athlete a regular person again. In the seventh inning against the Pirates at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, a Cardinals fan fell over the first base barrier while reaching for a foul ball. The man landed awkwardly on his head and suffered a bad cut on his forehead. Medical personnel attended to the man as expected. But in the midst of the white shirts and bandages, there was a…a player? Yes, Pujols was right alongside the man. The reigning National League MVP and Cardinals All-Star first baseman did not leave the man’s side. He talked to the man and his son, who also attended the game, for more than 10 minutes. Pujols did not leave the scene until medical staff transported the man off the field and to the hospital. His commitment to family and community reaches far beyond the aforementioned incident. The eight-time All-Star started the Pujols Family Foundation in 2005 along with wife Deidre to provide support to people with Down syndrome and their families. Pujols is also known for his humanitarian efforts in his native Dominican Republic. He has taken several trips accompanied by a team of doctors and dentists to provide care for those in need. In 2008, Pujols won the Roberto Clemente Award. The honor is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who “combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.” Parents, coaches, and other caring adults should tell the story of Albert Pujols – a man of great talent and even greater character.
Albert Pujols is the recipient of Major League Baseball’s 2008 Roberto Clemente Award.