Sports Spectrum Weekly

L.A. Angels' Albert Pujols sets MLB record for most hits by foreign-born player

In the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game between the Los Angeles Angels and Pittsburgh Pirates, Angels first baseman Albert Pujols reached yet another milestone. With an RBI single in the Angels’ 7-4 win, Pujols surpassed fellow Dominican Republic native Adrian Beltre for the most hits in MLB history by a foreign-born player.

He added another hit later in the game to bring his career total to 3,168, good for 15th place in baseball history.

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Pujols has racked up plenty of accomplishments and eclipsed significant milestones since his major-league career began with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001. Pujols won NL Rookie of the Year and quickly became one of the game’s best players. He was a nine-time All-Star with the Cardinals, three-time NL MVP and six-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award. He also helped add two more World Series titles to the storied Cardinals franchise, in 2006 and 2011.

Pujols left St. Louis for sunny Los Angeles in 2011, where the hits kept coming. He reached his 10th All Star Game with Los Angeles in 2015 and was in an Angels uniform when he joined the 600 home run club (now at 651) and the 3,000 hit club. He holds a .300 batting average over his 19-year career, playing less than 140 games in only two seasons.

Pujols, 39, is a surefire Hall of Famer when he retires and has rightfully been recognized as one of the best and most consistent hitters in recent baseball memory. Yet after each achievement, Pujols made sure to direct the glory to his Lord and Savior rather than himself.

“My work on the field is always for something greater; to glorify God and to serve others,” Pujols posted on his Facebook page after hitting home run No. 600.

Pujols continues to inch closer to the top of the record books with each hit. Still, he knows he is here not to pile up accolades for himself but to honor Christ in all that he does.

“Jesus Christ is the One who guides all of my decisions and that’s who I play for,” Pujols told Sports Spectrum in 2011. “Through Him, I’ve learned more than I ever knew and I feel that I have a great responsibility to just stay humble and keep my focus on Him.”

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