Quicklet on 60 Minutes: The Incredible Albert Pujols

by Anita Tsuchiya

What's in the book?

Quicklets: Your Reading Sidekick!

    • Biographical information on Albert Pujols
    • Commentary and analysis of the segment
    • Important people mentioned
    • Interesting Related Facts
    • Related online content

Description

Quicklets: Your Reading Sidekick!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Albert Pujols is the type of ballplayer who quietly goes about his business, which in his case means putting up offensive numbers unparalleled in baseball history. Thus far in his career, he has been a better hitter than baseball giants Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Babe Ruth.



Pujols is a franchise player, the kind who carries teams to world championships. No doubt this is why the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim signed the burly first baseman to a historic mega-deal for more than $250 million over 10 years. ESPN baseball analyst Jayson Stark summed up the deal on ESPN.com: “On an unforgettable Thursday morning at baseball's 2011 winter meetings, [the Angels] stunned their sport and changed their world, all in one dramatic swoop.”

Perhaps the most incredible thing about Pujols is the kind of person he is outside the stadium. In a 60 Minutes interview that aired in April 2011, Bob Simon revealed another side of the fierce competitor who burns to be the best of the best. Viewers got to know a young man who sees beyond the disabilities of people with Down syndrome. A man of faith who follows his beliefs rather than peer pressure. A sports superstar who has not forgotten where he came from, the slums of a third world country. Finally, the interview hinted at why Pujols, who spent the first 10 years of his career playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, decided to his future awaited in the far west.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Anita is el presidente y peón of Sabaku, Inc., a marketing services company that provides writing, editing, research, analysis and consulting for a diverse assortment of clientèle. The loves of her life are split into two seasons: during the fall/winter she pursues a degree in Japanese language, and spends spring/summer joyfully immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of minor league baseball. A retired speed-freak and super-jock, her current life is moderately active. She grew up in the Bay Area of California, and her almae matres include San Leandro High and U.C. Davis. In fact, she remembers what San Jose looked like before Silicon Valley. Now happily settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, she shares her home with a pair of mixed-mutt bundles of canine goodness named Molly and Linus.

EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

In the 60 Minutes segment on Albert Pujols, Bob Simon opens with an unbelievable claim: “We’re going to tell you about one of the best baseball players who ever lived.” The viewer soon comes to learn that the stats bear him out. In the ten years following his major league debut in 2001, Pujols has hit higher than .300 AVE, more than 30 HR, and more than 100 RBI.



Pujols began chasing his dream of playing major league baseball at age 18. He still has a scrapbook filled with high school highlights. In 1999, he was one of many eagerly awaiting the First-Year Player Draft, when professional baseball clubs choose the best young baseball talent in the country. His expectations were high, and he was confident of being drafted in the early rounds. But he was passed over, round-after-round, until he was finally selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in round #13. They paid him a small signing bonus and sent him to their minor league team in Peoria, IL.



Pujols was so disappointed, he felt like quitting baseball. Deidre remembers how tough things were at the beginning: “There were times we'd have these conversations, I’d think, I need to file for bankruptcy. I don't know how I'll ever get this paid off.”

Fortunately, Deidre didn’t file for bankruptcy and Albert didn’t quit baseball. By the end of the season, he’d climbed his way to the top of the minor league ladder. He made his major league debut in 2001, and in the fourth game of his career hit his first home run.



Nowadays, teammate Lance Berkman offers free advice to pitchers facing Pujols when there are runners on base: it would be better to risk walking in one run than risk giving up four from a grand slam. Pujols is that good. There is little doubt he belongs in the “pantheon of the greatest,” says writer Peter Gammons, who’s covered baseball for longer than Pujols has been alive, 40 years.

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