(This story originally appeared on www.sportscollectorsdaily.com)
by William Lloyd
Albert Pujols began his career with little attention. Passed over by every team several times in the 1999 MLB Draft, he was eventually picked in the 13th round by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 402nd pick. Considering what’s happened since, he might be one of the greatest draft steals of all-time and his rookie cards the first of the new millennium to score big.
Pujols, who began 2000 in single-A Peoria, shot through the Cardinals’ minor league system, finishing with the Memphis AAA affiliate at the end of the year.
He began the 2001 season on the Cardinals’ roster and from the start, had little trouble adjusting to major league pitching. Now 10 seasons into his big-league career, Pujols has an astonishing .331 career batting average with 408 home runs.
He continues to pile up a list of records and achievements that look like the front of a Cooperstown plaque: Rookie of the Year Award, nine All-Star appearances, three MVP awards, two gold gloves, a Roberto Clemente Award, and a World Series Championship with the Cardinals in 2006.
The most impressive thing about Pujols’ game is that of consistency. Each year since entering the big leagues, he has hit at least 30 homers, had at least 100 RBI, and achieved at least a .300 average. If Pujols continues to play at his current pace, he will break many storied MLB records. With all the success, this once looked-over community college baseball player has become one of the most prominent athletes of all-time.
For more go to www.sportscollectorsdaily.com