There is a point in every child's life where they find someone to irrationally idolize, be it an athlete, a singer, an actor, a family member, anyone. When your childhood mainly occurred during the early 2000s and you lived 30 miles as a crow flies from St. Louis, it was obvious who your idol was.
When he hit homeruns, he wasn't just hitting a ball, he was hitting his way through adversity, everyone that ever told him he wasn't good enough, every team that passed on him in 1999. He would stare down homeruns like they had personally wronged him. He was feared by pitchers, revered by everyone. When he was up to the plate, everyone stopped what they were doing and paid attention. As a child, you are constantly being told what to do and seem to have no control over your life. You have to switch schools, your parents are fighting, you are awkward and still have baby fat, teachers make you do homework, and no one ever listens to your opinion. It was just different watching him when you are a kid. I never noticed he was surly or unapproachable, like those of you that are older than me. All I knew was that he was everything I wanted to be: the best.
I was 12 when Albert Pujols hit the game winning homerun off Brad Lidge in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS, and afterword I became completely convinced that he could do anything, that he only made outs occasionally because he allowed it. Even six years later, when I was 18, sitting alone in my dorm in my first year at college, Albert Pujols came up to bat with the opportunity to hit his third homerun in a World Series game and there was no doubt in my mind he would do just that.
You never forget your childhood heroes. And even as I grow older into my early 20s, and Albert has moved on to another team, I still find myself monitoring him, waiting to see what unbelievable thing he will accomplish next. I don't care that he isn't a Cardinal anymore, because he was there for me when it mattered, when I needed him the most. I only hope that more people are able to look back and reflect fondly on what we were able to witness.
Because he is Albert Pujols. He can do anything. - Sports on Earth
To celebrate Albert's accomplishment of becoming only the 26th player in history to hit 500 homeruns, 445 with the Birds on the Bat, here is a collection of my favorite Pujols moments:
- Pujols goes oppo to hit 14 homeruns in April - Youtube
- Pujols hits his 400th career homerun - Youtube
- Obligatory Pujols homers off Lidge - Youtube
- Albert reaches 2000 hits - Youtube - Youtube
- Pujols throws out Chase Utley at third base - MLB
- AP hits number 500 - MLB; MLB
- You can find more great Pujols moments, like his first homerun, in this playlist. - Youtube; MLB
What Else is Going on in Baseball...
What the Cardinals are Up To...
- Michael Wacha loses his hat in adorable fashion during a windy and wild game in Flushing. - tumblr
- And tomsteele puts is to old timey music! - weavly
- It is now safe to laugh at how funny Adam Wainwright looked when he almost fell the other day. He did hyper-extend his knee, but will be fine and make his next start. - Hardball Talk
- Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and Shelby Miller paid a visit to MTV2's Off the Bat from MLB Fan Cave. Here is the full episode. - MTV2
- Chris Carpenter met some kids today:
- Worried about the Cardinals? Jimmy "the Cat" Hayes puts it all in perspective:
There are some legit concerns, but 23 games doesn't change my opinion that the Cardinals are a very good team. Cue the rightsholder tweets..— Jim Hayes (@TheCatOnFox) April 24, 2014
KNOW THINE ENEMY...
- Wrigley Field turned a 100 years old this past week. - Hardball Talk
- Cubs outfielder Justin Ruggiano felt a pop in his leg/hamstring and will likely be out 4-6 weeks. - Hardball Talk
- Oh Cubs... - Hardball Talk
- "Carlos Gomez is Yasiel Puig on an indie label," writes Grant Brisbee on Baseball's Unwritten Rules. (Thanks to flood for the link!) - SBNation
- Here is your weekly "Billy Hamilton is really fast" article. - Cut4
Milwaukee Brewers 16 6 .727 St. Louis Cardinals 12 11 .522 Cincinnati Reds 11 11 .500 Pittsburgh Pirates 9 14 .391 Chicago Cubs 7 14 .333
THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES
- Record against: 1-2
- The Pirates have recently had a tough go of it, losing 6 of 7. Hopefully things get tougher this weekend. - Miami Herald
- fink does his preview for the series. - Viva el Birdos
- For more Pirates news, head over to their SBNation blog. - Bucs Dugout
Viva el Stuff...
- tehzachatak wrote this interesting piece about the Cardinals lack of offense so far this year and BABIP. - Viva el Birdos
- Carlos Beltran turned 37 yesterday. PSCA does his thing. - Viva el Birdos
- Some news from fink about VEB day tomorrow. We are meeting at Ballpark Village for a tour at 11:30am for those interested. Then going to the game and getting Molina alternate jerseys!!! - Viva el Birdos
- In honor of Albert Pujols, this blast from the past discusses how old he may or may not be. - Viva el Archives
- Missed Tuesday's links? Check them out here! - Viva el Birdos
- The Blues have lost two straight to the despised Chicago Blackhawks to even the series up 2-2. Tonight they take them on at Scottrade at 7:00pm in a critical game to swing the series 3-2.
For everything Blues, check out their SBNation blog! - St. Louis Game Time
- With my worrying about David Backes of the Blues and his return from an "upper body injury", spants tweeted me this article about concussions that I think is worth sharing. - Battle Red Blog
|Tuesday, April 22||Cardinals||3||Mets||0||Recap|
|Wednesday, April 23||Cardinals||2||Mets||3||Recap|
|Thursday, April 24||Cardinals||1||Mets||4||Recap|
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