Spring 2021 Magazine

MLB legend Albert Pujols to pay Angels staff in Dominican Republic while guided by Christ

For the past 19 years, Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols has spent his summers crushing baseballs beyond the outfield walls of Major League Baseball stadiums. Yet this season, baseball was in the middle of spring training when the coronavirus pandemic brought things to a screeching halt.

MLB personnel, from players to scouts, have continued to endure the effects of the suspension in play. Yet as the league is in continued discussions to salvage some form of a season, the Angels decided to stop paying their employees in the Dominican Republic. When Pujols heard the news, he committed to help.

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The future Hall of Famer will pay the salaries of the furloughed Angels staff members in his home country for roughly five months. The team has a significant presence in the Caribbean nation, and most of L.A.’s international prospects begin their professional careers at the franchise’s academy in Boca Chica.

Pujols’ act of generosity will total around $180,000, a source told The New York Times.

Pujols’ generosity is rooted in his faith in Christ, and he and his wife, Diedre, launched The Pujols Family Foundation in 2005. According to the foundation’s website, its mission is to “honor God and strengthen families through our works, deeds and examples” by helping those who live with Down Syndrome and improving the lives of the impoverished in the Dominican Republic.

Pujols has been outspoken about his faith since entering the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001.

He told Sports Spectrum in 2011 that, “Jesus Christ is the One who guides all of my decisions and that’s who I play for. 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.”

In 2013, he shared his testimony of faith in Christ with I Am Second.

The 2020 season would be the 40-year-old’s 20th in the major leagues. He spent 11 seasons with the Cardinals, earning three National League MVPs and capturing two World Series titles.

The star signed a 10-year deal with Los Angeles in December 2011 worth $240 million. He sits at sixth all time with 656 career home runs.

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