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BASEBALL

Albert Pujols leaves no doubt

The Cardinals slugger leads the league in home runs and runs batted in but can't escape suspicion. 'I'm the one guy that everyone can't wait until I fail,' he says. 'What can you do?'

August 19, 2009|Kevin Baxter

That faith is why Pujols points both index fingers to the heavens after every home run. It's why he started a foundation to help children such as his stepdaughter Isabella, who has Down syndrome.

It's why he brings doctors and dentists to impoverished villages in the Dominican, work that last fall earned Pujols baseball's Roberto Clemente Award for community service.

And that resume, not the one that lists home runs and RBIs, is the one Pujols says he will ultimately be judged on. So let the skeptics question and the doubters point. Pujols is playing to a different audience.

"All I need to accomplish is make sure that I'm here on Earth trying to glorify Jesus and don't try to focus on how critical people can be and try to point fingers all over the place," he said. "God is out there and He's looking down.

"My responsibility . . . my goal is to try to honor God. I can't control what other people do."

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kevin.baxter@latimes.com

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BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX

SOME OF ALBERT PUJOLS' NUMBERS THIS SEASON:

39 home runs, best in the major leagues

105 RBIs, second best in the major leagues

94 runs, tied for best in the major leagues

.321 batting average, fourth best in NL

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Model of consistency

Albert Pujols' career statistics, through Monday. He has played every season with St. Louis:

*--* YEAR G AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO AVG SLG 2001 161 590 112 194 47 37 130 69 93 329 610 2002 157 590 118 185 40 34 127 72 69 314 561 2003 157 591 137 212 51 43 124 79 65 359 667 2004 154 592 133 196 51 46 123 84 52 331 657 2005 161 591 129 195 38 41 117 97 65 330 609 2006 143 535 119 177 33 49 137 92 50 331 671 2007 158 565 99 185 38 32 103 99 58 327 568 2008 148 524 100 187 44 37 116 104 54 357 653 2009 118 416 94 135 30 39 105 88 48 325 683 TOTALS 1,357 4,994 1,041 1,666 372 358 1,082 784 554 334 629 *--*

Source: mlb.com

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