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Albert Pujols: Poisted for Greatness


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Albert Pujols: Poised for greatness



Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols says he is more concerned about first place than his place in history.


SAN FRANCISCO - He touches down in Detroit early this morning part of an All-Star entourage including his manager, teammates, coaches and family.


For the fourth time in five major-league seasons, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will participate in the game's midsummer festival.


Perhaps his league's MVP-in-waiting, Pujols is for certain a hitter who already has achieved transcendence.


Like it or not - and Pujols insists he does not - his statistics call for comparisons with players from every generation, not just his own.


Pujols entered the season with 160 home runs and, entering Sunday night's game, had added 22.


Of the seven men who managed more home runs at his age, five are enshrined in the Hall of Fame, and two, Cincinnati Reds center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, are still playing and are shoo-ins for the honor.


Only Joe DiMaggio, Hal Trosky and Ted Williams amassed more runs batted in for their first four major-league seasons than Pujols' 504.


Only six men reached 500 RBIs at a younger age than Pujols. (The only one not in the Hall of Fame is Griffey.) Only Ralph Kiner hit more home runs than Pujols' 160 in the first four seasons of a major-league career.


"I don't want to be compared with anybody," Pujols insists. "If you want to compare me, compare me with God. I want to be like he was. That's how I want to live my life. I don't want to compare it with Joe DiMaggio or Babe Ruth or any of those guys.


"Who really cares about the records accomplished in the last four years? That's over. I've been paid for that, and I took care of my team back then."


He adds: "Everybody expects me to hit .350, but I don't. It's tough. Those guys are out there battling and making adjustments. You want to make sure you stay focused and make your adjustments, too. Those are hard things. I don't care what people expect. I'm just trying to win games and win a championship. That's my job."


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Great article on Albert.. Read it if you care to!

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