Albert Pujols Hits Historic 697th Home Run: ‘Everything I Try To Do In This Game Is To Glorify Him’
By Movieguide® Staff
Veteran MLB player Albert Pujols’ career continues to move forward after the 42-year-old hit his 697th home run, making him the fourth all-time home run leader in history.
The homer, hit in the ninth inning, gave Pujols’ St. Louis Cardinals a 3-2 lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates and surpassed Alex Rodriguez on the all-time list.
The historic home run now places Pujols in the company of Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth.
Matt and Samantha Brown, two Pirates fans, found the home run ball, and Pujols encouraged them to keep the ball, which he later signed.
“It’s just a baseball. They deserve to have it. It went out of the ballpark,” Pujols told MLB.com. “We play this game for the fans. So whether they want to give it back or they want to keep it, I don’t have any problem with that.”
Despite his legendary status, Pujols is an outspoken Christian and showed gratitude to God for his ability to play baseball at the highest level.
“He’s given me this platform,” Pujols said. “He’s given me the power and the strength to play this game, this game that I love. I think at the end of the day, you need to put work into [hitting], whether it’s with the iPad, whether it’s in the cage, in the weight room. I’m just glad I’m able to do that and help this ball club to win.”
According to SportsSpectrum, Pujols was set to be the Cardinals designated hitter, only to be brought up to plate for left-handed pitchers. However, the season has panned out differently for Pujols and the Cardinals.
In the second half of the season, Pujols has been on a tear. In August, his best month of the season, he hit .361 with eight home runs and 17 RBIs in 61 at-bats. Sunday’s home run was his second in as many games and his 12th in 37 games since the All-Star break. He’s now just three away from 700 career home runs, a feat that many felt was only a remote possibility when the season started, given his likely limited number of at-bats.
At Christian Day in St. Louis this past July, the future hall of fame player said he was thankful for the ability to close out his career in St. Louis.
“This is a great opportunity that God has given me to finish my career,” Pujols said. “This is where everything started for me. When Mo called me and Oli, I couldn’t believe it. The next day I was signing and in a plane going down to spring training. Just excited to be here. Hopefully I’ll finish my career strong and win a championship for the city of St. Louis.”
“As a Christian, it’s tough to walk on this earth,” Pujols continued. “But we know, at the end of the day, we represent the King, and He loves us so much. That’s why He died on the cross — so we can have eternal life one day with Him. So that’s my focus every single day when I walk.
“I thank the Lord. I just try to come here and perform for you guys, but I know that I’m performing for Him first. He’s first in my life and everything that I try to do in this game is to glorify Him.”