There are baseball fans and then there are baseball FANS. Having read Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth’s new book, ‘Pujols: More Than The Game,’ I can say that this book is for both. The casual fan will be taken by the man that is Pujols-a devoted husband, faithful follower of Christ, user of his wealth to help others, and one who has never forgotten his roots. The diehard fan will revel in the depth of baseball lore surrounding the Cardinals record setting first baseman who has set standards that will stand for a long, long time. Consider just these:
When compared to the legends of the game, Pujols stands alongside Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Joe DiMaggio as one of only four players to have less than five hundred career strikeouts and a career batting average over .330 at the time they hit their three-hundredth home run.
Yankee hero Lou Gehrig posted nine consecutive seasons with thirty doubles, a .300 batting average, thirty home runs, and one hundred runs batted in. Has anyone else accomplished this feat? Nobody except Pujols.
In more than one hundred years of National League baseball, nobody ranks ahead of Pujols in extra base hits (744) within their first 5,000 career at bats. He gets around a lot.
More Than The Game spans Pujols’ humble beginnings in the Dominican Republic through his move to the United States including his high school baseball feats at Fort Osage High School in Independence, MO and college career at Maple Woods Community College, to the minor leagues and finally the pros. Each level witnessed its own legendary baseball from the ever improving young star. A favorite of mine took place during the state playoffs first year playing high school baseball. The opposing pitcher, Ryan Stegall, who would eventually be drafted by the Houston Astros, gave up a mammoth home run to the eighteen year old Pujols. Lamb and Ellsworth describe the shot:
The ball rocketed through the sky in left center field, way over the left field fence. Beyond the fence, about forty to fifty feet back, loomed the two-story Liberty High School building. An air conditioner unit sat atop the building, probably twenty or thirty feet from the edge, and had just become target practice for Pujols. The home run traveled five hundred feet, easily.
Following the standard walk to the mound to deliver a new ball to his pitcher, Stegall’s battery partner, Shannon Blackburn, said,
You suck. I’ve never seen a ball hit that far.
While Pujols includes more than enough baseball to satiate the most diehard fan, it covers the most important part of the superstar’s life with equally as passionate writing: his passion for Christ. Albert Pujols is more than one of the greatest baseball players to ever swing a bat, he’s also serious about faith in Christ. He is not just one of those guys who “Thanks God” when winning an award with nothing about his life matching those words. He’s the real deal. He has a solid walk and a solid public testimony. Pujols is the kind of man you want your kid to like; not the kind you hope they will avoid.
You can order Pujols: More Than The Game through the link below. You pay the same low Amazon price and I make a small commission.