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When Baseball Needed a Savior, It Got Albert Pujols

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IMay 7, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 23: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates his first home run of the game against the New York Mets on April 23, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Mets 12-8.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

With the recent breaking news that shed light on yet another MLB star taking a banned substance, I felt the need to try and stay positive and remind people what they are seeing in Albert Pujols.

Albert Pujols is shattering records left and right, and if he remains healthy will undoubtedly set the home run record currently tainted by Barry Bonds.

Many call Albert Pujols the best pure hitter in the game today, maybe even the history of the league. If you have been caught up with all the negative media coverage in the MLB of late, take a step back and examine what Pujols is doing.

He was the fasted player to record 300 home runs in his career, doing so in 572 less games than Alex Rodriguez. He is already 91st on the career home runs list, sitting at the ripe age of 29.

He is the only player in league history to hit 30 home runs in the first eight seasons of his career. In that same span, he averaged .330 and recorded more than 100 RBI in each season, also the only player to do so.

He was voted the most feared hitter in the game in 2008 by all 30 MLB managers.

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He is only the 11th player to win the National League MVP twice, and is more than likely on his way to several more.

He won a gold glove at first base in 2006.

In 2008 alone, he won the NL MVP, the Roberto Clemente award for character, the Player's Choice Player of the Year, and the NL Silver Slugger winner.

The list of records goes on and on, too many to mention in this short article.

Albert Pujols also transcends the game with his ability to play through injury. In 2007 while battling elbow injuries and in 2008 while battling a calf injury he still managed to put up monster numbers. Pujols is a model of consistency even when his threshold for pain is tested.

People who are of age say they still remember what it was like to see Babe Ruth play baseball. Babe transcends any era of baseball and will be remembered forever—Albert Pujols is on his way to that magnitude of a career. Hopefully, I will be able to tell my grandchildren, "Yea, I saw Albert Pujols play baseball in person."

Pujols is one bright spot amidst the "steroid era" of baseball. He is the epitome of a role model citizen and just an all around class act. In the search for a player that young people could look up to, you would not have to venture far away from Pujols.

Pujols started the Pujols Family Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with Down Syndrome and their families, as well as helping those living in poverty in his home country of the Dominican Republic.

It seems fitting that Pujols entered the league the same year that Barry Bonds hit 73. While Pujols will more than likely never pass that milestone without taking any substances, we can at least be hopeful Pujols will eventually be atop the league's career home run list.

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