MLB slugger and three-time MVP Albert Pujols invites Graham to Angels spring training, where he opens up about his tough upbringing in the Dominican Republic, a faith-driven approach towards befriending PED users, his contentious departure from the Cardinals and anticipated emotions during his first games back in St. Louis this summer. The three-day taping also includes stops at Pujols Family Foundation events in St. Louis and Scottsdale, AZ, plus commentary from Mike Trout, Manny Machado and Clayton Kershaw, among others.
Graham Bensinger attends Pujols Family Foundation events including an annual basketball game supporting local children with Down Syndrome in St. Louis and celebrity golf fundraiser in Scottsdale, AZ. Plus, Pujols discusses another primary focus of the foundation: serving the impoverished in the Dominican Republic through economic support, medical care and athletic resources. Foundation Executive Director/CEO Todd Perry expands on its mission and Albert’s unique contribution. More information available at http://www.pujolsfamilyfoundation.org/.
Albert Pujols opens up about his tough upbringing in the Dominican Republic – from tending to his father when he drank too much, to his mother leaving the family when Albert was only three years old – but remains grateful for his family and the influence of his softball-playing dad and protective grandmother.
Albert Pujols describes his journey from the Dominican Republic to New York to Missouri and the difficulties along the way, from witnessing a shooting to overcoming the language barrier amid high school teasing.
Albert Pujols discusses his rise to the majors with very little money. He laughs about making baseball gloves out of milk cartons, reluctantly accepting the $100 fine for a bench-clearing brawl in the Minors and talking his wife out of declaring bankruptcy because he believed he’d make it to the MLB.
Albert Pujols talks about his approach to the game. Topics include maintaining his motivation over two decades, studying video, sizing up pitchers and his wish that MLB would do away with instant replay.
Albert Pujols addresses his decline in statistical productivity since joining the Angels, focusing mainly on a series of lower body injuries. Still, he gives himself credit for his longevity, playing through pain and adjusting his training accordingly. Plus, Pujols shares the surprising factor that presented the biggest challenge when switching from the NL to the AL.
Albert Pujols opens up about performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). He credits MLB for their efforts to clean up the sport, withholds judgment toward those who test positive (including friend Robinson Cano), and says he doesn’t dwell on the hypotheticals of a more level playing field.
Albert Pujols talks about his faith and his personal relationship with Jesus Christ, stressing that its importance is greater than his career highlights and even his family. He also reflects on his first time going to church with wife Dee Dee, learning from Christian athletes like Mike Matheny and converting former Cardinals teammate Yadier Molina to Christianity.
Albert Pujols reflects on MLB career highlights, including his 2006 World Series win with the Cardinals and a forthcoming spot joining Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez in the 2,000 RBI club, as well as his 3,000th hit and 600th home run. He also talks about his 2005 NLCS Game 5 home run off of Brad Lidge and the subsequent Houston ritual he keeps to this day.
MLB Footage Courtesy of MLB.com.
Albert Pujols opens up about his 2011 move from the Cardinals to the Angels. Maintaining that his decision was not based on money, he says he was not willing to beg to stay during contract negotiations and looks back on the divine moment when he knew he would be an Angel. Pujols shares his thoughts on Angels owner Arte Moreno and the small percentage of fans who turned their backs on him. Plus, Cardinals CEO Bill DeWitt, Jr. looks back on 2011 as one of the hardest offseasons he’s endured.
Albert Pujols talks about family, from his relationship with his wife, to having a daughter with Down syndrome, to the challenges of raising five kids as a celebrity athlete. Plus, his oldest son, A.J., describes his father as a constant source of motivation… and friendly competition.
Albert Pujols looks forward to the June 2019 interleague series that will mark his first return to the Cardinals’ Busch Stadium since his contentious departure in 2011. He says “you can’t ignore the greatness” that happened there and anticipates an emotional return.
Albert Pujols talks about his mentorship of superstar teammate Mike Trout. Trout, in turn, weighs in on their competition on and off the field, Pujols’ ability to play through injury and what he’s learned most from him during their first eight seasons together with the Angels.
Albert Pujols invites Graham Bensinger inside the batting cage to diagnose his swing tendencies and batting stance.
Los Angeles Angels coach Jose Molina opens up about the impact that Albert Pujols’ departure from the St. Louis Cardinals had on his brother Yadier Molina. Plus, Mike Matheny, Jon Jay and Bill DeWitt Jr. share details of their relationships with Pujols and the impact he left on the Cardinals franchise.