• Los Angeles Angels
|• First Base
||• Born: 1/16/80
- Like many players
from Latin American or South American countries, Albert has always been
questioned about his age. The whispers that he’s older than he
claims started in high school, and carried through his year at Maple
Woods Community College.
- Maple Woods retired
Albert’s jersey, #33, though he only played there one year.
- When Albert led
the Cardinals in batting average, home runs and RBIs in 2001, he became
the first St. Louis rookie to top the team in all three categories since
Rogers Hornsby in 1916.
- During Albert’s
rookie year, fellow Dominican Placido Polanco took him under his wing.
Polanco went to the Phillies from St. Louis, and then to Detroit, but
continued to spend time with Albert and his family during the off-season.
He is also Albert Jr.’s godfather.
- In 2002 Albert
became the first player in baseball history to bat .300 with 30 home
runs, 100 runs and 100 RBIs in each of his first two seasons.
- In 2005, Albert
became the first Cardinal to win the MVP since Willie McGee in 1985.
- Albert was named
2006 Man of the Year by the MLBPA. He was a finalist for the honor in
- In 2006, Albert
led major league first basemen in Range Factor in and tied for the NL
lead with a .996 fielding average. He was rewarded with his first Gold
Glove. Albert was the first St. Louis first baseman to win a Gold Glove
since Keith Hernandez in 1982.
- Albert played for
the Dominican Republic in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He became
a US citizen in 2007. Albert scored a perfect 100 on his citizenship
- In 2008, Albert
recorded his 300th career double, 300th career home run and 1500th career
- Albert was a one-man
wrecking crew in a May 2008 game against the San Diego Padres. He lined
a pitch off of Chris Young’s face, landing him on the DL. Later
in the inning, he plowed into Josh Bard at home plate, tearing up Bard's
ankle and landing him on the DL as well.
- Albert played one
game at second base in 2008. He has now played each of the four infield
positions as a Cardinal. He has won Silver Slugger awards at three positions—third
base, outfield and first base.
- In 2008, Albert
became the first NL first baseman to win two MVP awards. He and Stan
Musial are the only Cardinals to earn the award twice.
- In 2008, Albert
became the second player to reach 300 homers in his eighth season. The
first was Ralph Kiner.
- Albert won the
2008 Roberto Clemente Award for his character and charitable contributions
to his community.
- In addition to the 2009 NL MVP, Albert also won MLB Player of the Year and the Hank Aaron Award.
- Albert was named NL Player of the Month twice in 2009.
- In 2010, Albert broke his streak of six years in a row making an All-Star appearance.
- In 2010, Albert led the NL in intentional walks for the third year in a row.
- Albert is the only player ever to bat over .300 and hit 30 or more homers while driving in 100 or more runs in each of his first 10 seasons in the majors. His streak was broken in 2011 when he hit .299 and drove in 99 runs.
- As of the end of the 2011 season, Albert had baseball’s best lifetime batting average (.328) among active players.
- After the 2011 World Series, Albert was recognized with his own Wheaties box cover.
- Albert is one of five NL players to win three MVP awards. The other four are Mike Schmidt, Roy Campanella, Stan Musial and Barry Bonds. Only Bonds has won more, with seven.
- Albert uses different
bats against lefties and righties. He swings a 33-ounce piece of lumber
versus southpaws, and one an ounce heavier versus righthanders.
- In a poll at ESPN’s
web site, voters selected “Winnie the Pujols” over “Phat
Albert” as Chris Berman's best nickname for Albert.
- One of the few
things that makes Albert nervous is public speaking.
favorite sport after baseball is basketball. He grew up watching Michael
Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, and today is a fan of Kobe Bryant and
- “Take the
Shackles Off My Feet so I Can Dance,” by R&B Gospel singers
Mary Mary, is Albert’s choice of music when he goes to plate in
- Albert paid $2500
for the glove Roger Clemens wore during his 300th win, then gave it
to a young fan.
adopted daughter, Isabella, has Down Syndrome. She had heart surgery
in July of 1998 to correct a circulatory problem, and is doing fine
now. While Isabella’s learning and intelligence levels are behind
other kids her age, Albert says her speech is developing steadily. Having
a younger brother who talks a lot is a big help. So is Albert’s
commitment to kids and families affected by Down Syndrome. He works
closely with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
- Albert and Diedre
appeared in the 2002 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
- Albert and his
family are members of the Kansas City Baptist Temple. He reportedly
donates between 10 and 20 percent of his salary to the church, not to
mention the volunteer work he does.
- In 2005, Albert
established the Pujols Family Foundation to help kids with disabilities
and Down Syndrome in the U.S. and Dominican Republic.
favorite movie is Gladiator.
- Had he not been
a baseball player, Albert says that he might have pursued medicine or
engineering as a career.
- In November of 2011, a 10-foot statue of Albert was unveiled at the Westpost Plaza in the Maryland Heights section of St. Louis.
1961 Golden Press
Keith Hernandez, 1979 Hostess
Ralph Kiner, 1953 Red Man
2004 Sport Illusrtated