Review of “Pujols: More Than The Game”
Pujols: More Than The Game practically jumps out and grabs your attention with the cover alone. The close-up of Albert wonderfully captures the combination of focus, intensity, and quiet confidence that we’ve come to expect in the man. The cover is also set off perfectly by the unique font selection which appears almost part digital, part machine language in origin. I find that apropos for a man often referred to as “The Machine“, dubbed such for his propensity to perform with machine-like consistency and reliability. It’s this attention to detail found throughout the book that makes it worth reading in one sitting.
Nearly every biography of Pujols contains the obligatory recitation of his incredible career statistics, individual achievements and honors. This bio artfully weaves all that information into a more complex story that both adds to the legend that is Albert and provides a glimpse into the grounding forces provided by his faith, his home life, and his upbringing.
If you’ve ever wanted to understand the journey that took Pujols from Cristo Rey, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republican to Fort Osage Senior High School in Independence, Missouri, this is the book for you. The end of that journey marked the beginning of another one – a journey that would lead him to his future profession, future wife and a life of faith in God. All were the product of a wonderful confluence of circumstance, personal deficiencies, and hard work. Read on, and you’ll understand about the people who share Albert’s life and have influenced him in ways big and small.
The recounting of Albert’s meteoric rise through the minor league system may be retold elsewhere, but this biography captures that story and intertwines it with stories of the lives that Albert touched along the way. To know that Albert is in many ways unchanged by fortune and fame and yet better equipped to handle both than most is to understand the very thing that truly makes Albert special. Indeed, he seems uniquely gifted to comprehend that with great power comes great responsibility.
Lest you begin to think this biography lacks a baseball backbone, you’ll find plenty to satisfy even the most discriminating of Cardinals fan. Starting with a detailed comparison of Pujols’ ROY season compared to other great rookie seasons, Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth masterfully refresh our memories season-by-season, and reframe Albert’s personal achievements and struggles within the greater context of the team’s success.
As you learn more about Albert, you’ll find that he’s 1st in many quantifiable categories. More importantly, he’s earned unparalleled respect from teammates and opposing players alike who speak of the man with a reverence usually reserved for only the best of the best. That’s probably humbling news for the man who often uses 1st base as a speaking platform to deliver his own personal message about God and eternity.
This book tastefully provides exclusive insight into the lives of Albert and Deidre Pujols and especially their work through their charity organization, the Pujols Family Foundation. They’re simply not satisfied with showing up at fundraising events and signing checks. They actively go to where help is needed most, and they aren’t afraid to do the hard work and get their hands dirty. For anybody who knows Albert, that shouldn’t be a big surprise. It’s that attitude about doing both God’s work and his own profession that’s made him an MVP both on the field and off of it. It’s about time that someone got out the word about the real message behind the man, and Pujols: More Than The Game does that perfectly.
TIDBIT: The foreward for this book was done by Joe Posnanski. He happens to be one of my top 10 favorite sports journalists, and his take on just about every sports topic imaginable is typically as level-headed and sound as you could ask for in my opinion. Kicking off the Pujols Bio with words from Joe was like starting a great meal with the ideal aperitif.
FINAL ANALYSIS: 4 / 4 Sporks on the Total Zone Spork scale.
Interested in obtaining a copy of the Pujols Bio? Click here to order it from Amazon. It’s also available in e-book format as well. Already have a copy and want to give feedback to the authors? Follow them on Twitter @PujolsBio.
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