Article by: Zach Henley
Over the last 15 years, many exceptional players have come and gone. One of the best in that group is first baseman, Albert Pujols. Pujols is a two-time World Series champion with the St. Louis Cardinals, and has accumulated eye grabbing stats from his rookie year in 2004. The 39-year-old has tallied 637 homeruns, 1,997 RBI’s, along with a stellar average of .302. These stats alone prove that he deserves to be in the top 10 all time players list. The next couple stats show that “The Machine” is a top 5 all time great, such as having 3,102 hits, with 643 of them being doubles, and has stolen 111 bases, while only being caught 41 times. The stats show that he does not only hit for power, but that he has consistently been reliable to reach the base and be a threat at the same time. To further show that Albert is a major baseball treasure, he is 6th all-time in home runs, third in RBI’s, 22nd in hits, and 9th in doubles in the history of major league baseball.
These stats show that he is a great player and an obvious first ballot hall of famer. Other than the stats, Albert embodies what a baseball player is and what a player should always be. When he was a rookie, people were not excited, but his rookie campaign changed their minds in the end. In only 2 years, he helped the Cardinals win the 2006 World Series. This showed the immediate impact that he made on the team and caused the rest of the league tremble at what he could accomplish. After winning the title in 2011, he then signed with the Los Angeles Angels, to play along a kid named Mike Trout. Pujols saw this opportunity to help mentor a future star and eventually finish his career. That year, Trout won the rookie of the year award and has become the biggest star in baseball. Since switching teams and establishing himself as a mentor, Pujols has seen the postseason only once in 2014, but the lackluster Angels have not been able to return since.
Overall, Albert Pujols should be in every conversation as an all time great. Not only because of what his contributions are on the field, but also what he did off the field. His foundation, the Pujols Family Foundation, supports impoverished families in the Dominican Republic, and supports children who are suffering from Down’s Syndrome. The group, since its creation in 2005, has many different events around the country and has raised a large amount of money. The best players in the sport have been productive for their teams by producing outstanding numbers and providing insight for other teammates, as well as making their organizations an option to play for.
My personal top five goes; Hank Aaron, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Ricky Henderson, and Lou Gehrig.
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