[“Sabbath” is Career Calling’s Sunday feature on work and life.]
I just got back from watching the St. Louis Cardinals beat the team the Chicago Cubs 9-1. That’s not a big deal. Major League Baseball teams play 162 games; they will lose games and sometime lose in a blow out.
Today’s game was different because of one man, Albert Pujols, the first baseman of the Cardinals. Since his rookie year in 2001, Pujols has been an All Star with a career batting average of .332 and over 1700 hits. Today against the Cubs, he hit three home runs and walked two times.
What makes Pujols unusual is how quiet his achievements are. He’ll point to the sky after a homer (a cliché embraced by athletes in several sports – Really, does God care about a game?), but that’s about it. He does his all aspects of his job with consistent skill and effort. When I watch him play live, the player he reminds me of most is Tony Gwynn. Like Gwynn, Pujols controls the plate, which is usually the role the pitcher. What distinguishes him from Gwynn is the ability to hit for power as well as average.
It is a thrill to watch Albert Pujols – even when he’s beating the Cubs. That’s a mark of greatness.
Enjoy your Sabbath & Memorial Day.