Book Review – Pujols: More Than the Game

3 03 2011

Title: Pujols: More Than the Game
Authors: Scott Lamb and Tim Ellsworth
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

A Real Sports Hero

Summary: Anyone who has been around baseball the last 10 years knows the name of Albert Pujols. The St. Louis Cardinals’ top slugger has made an impact with his bat and style of play. This book chronicles his life and career from his beginnings in the Dominion Republic, to the big league success. Pujols is indeed not the average player for so many more reasons than his stats. The authors not only follow his career path, but also the faith and family that have sustained him on this journey. Interwoven into each season, are clearly the deeds and actions and heart of a man of Christ. From the founding of his own Pujols Family Foundation to his continual testimony spoken in clubhouses and interviews, Pujols has shown himself to be about “More Than the Game.”

What I Liked: What can I say? I’m a sucker for a sports biography. I love the games, and seeing where athletes come from – what inspires them and pushes them to succeed. Before reading this book, I didn’t know much about Albert. This book definitely tries to cover his story in it’s pages – from the beginning, through the transition to living in the U.S. – to baseball’s elite. Lots of quotes from those who have known Albert along the way. I love how the authors wove his faith into his major league career. In each step, we see Albert embracing God as he grows into his career as a baseball player, from Rookie of the Year, to World Series Champ. We also see the grace under pressure – the losses in the Cardinal clubhouse, the stand against PEDs – all firmly wound with his faith and the integrity that goes with it.

What I Didn’t Like: As I said, I love spots bios. But this one never gave me the true sense of what made Albert tick. What was he thinking as he tried to make it to the bigs? There is a lot of outside perspective, interviews of other people, but not as much personal insight by Pujols himself. While the authors deftly wove the stories of his career and faith, the book felt like a collection of quotes more than a personal journey.

Overall – A solid sports bio with a faith perspective. And I bet if you’re a Cardinal fan, you will love this one!

A review copy of this book was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze Program. All opinions are my own.

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