The world of sports can be a cruel, shallow one obsessed with money and personal success. The heroes we all watch often live double lives. Perfect on the field. Not so much off of it. Still, there are plenty of good guys out there that make it all worth it for the fans. In baseball, the biggest superstar also happens to fall into the good guy category.
Albert Pujols is already making a bid to be one of the all-time greats on the field. His success on the field is well documented. He hits for average. He hits for power. He can field. Did I say he can hit? The best player in the game today is also humble. Pujols doesn’t boast or brag, he just goes about his business day in and day out. In this dark age for baseball, he is a burst of light for the game. Pujols has been given the responsibility to save the game from the steroid era. He needs to rewrite the record books and erase our memories of the embarrassment over the last decade. Through all the accusations, he has remained strong, pointing to his faith in God and his family as all the strength he needs.
He combined those pillars in his life to create the Pujols Family Foundation. The foundation is run by Albert and his wife, Deidre, and focuses on using their faith to help others.
The mission of the foundation: “The Pujols Family Foundation exists to honor God and strengthen families through our works, deeds and examples. To live and share our commitment to faith, family and others. To promote awareness, provide hope and meet tangible needs for families and children who live with Down syndrome. To provide extraordinary experiences for children with disabilities and/or life threatening illnesses. To improve the standard of living and quality of life for impoverished children in the Dominican Republic through education, medical relief and tangible goods.”
The Pujols Family Foundation draws on Faith, Family, and Others to accomplish its goals. Faith in God. Family is special. The Pujols’ have a daughter with Down Syndrome, so they hope to help other families in the same situation. They consider it a blessing. And helping Others. The Pujols’ want to make a difference in many lives, using Albert’s baseball stature for good.
The foundation is run by the Pujols’ along with some help. But Albert is the founder and chairman and extremely involved. His wife is the president. This isn’t about signing checks. That would be too easy. It’s about actually helping others.
More players should follow Albert’s lead. He is great on the field and off it. He finds balance, so others can to. When he’s not working with the foundation or playing, he is being a model family man. Albert shared some special moments with his son, A.J. at Spring Training in the past week. He gave his son some pointers in the batting cage and had some laughs too. Not all athletes are there for their children, but Albert has made it a priority.
(Part of Stock Car Spin’s 5 Athletes Not Like Tiger Woods series focusing on the good guys of sports today. Thanks again for including me Ben!)