ANAHEIM, Calif. (CHRISTIAN EXAMINER) — Albert Pujols underwent surgery on his right food last week in Charlotte, North Carolina and is expected to be on the disabled list at least until the end of Spring Training.
The Los Angeles Angels first baseman/designated hitter had his plantar plate repaired — a surgery that will reportedly sideline him from baseball activities for 4 1/2 months. He will spend the winter months rehabilitating in Kansas City.
During MLB's general manager meetings on Monday, Angels general manager Billy Eppler spoke about Pujols' surgery and subsequent recovery saying he wasn't "going to put a stopwatch" on the slugger's return, according to the Los Angels Times.
The 35-year-old, 10-time All-Star hit 40 home runs and drove in 95 runs in 2015, but he had a career low batting average (.244) and on-base percentage (.307) after his numbers fell off during the second half of the season, presumably due to the injury.
Pujols still expects to attend the Pujols Family Foundation benefit concert in Nashville later this month. On Monday, he tweeted: "Me & my wife Deidre look forward to seeing all of our friends at the Nashville concert on Nov 16 for @pujolsfound."
The concert will include performances by Sam Bush Band, Jeff Black, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and John Oates.
The foundation benefits individuals with Down syndrome in Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Southern California. It also seeks to improve the standard of living and quality of life for impoverished children in the Dominican Republic.
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As such, his foundation provides opportunities for him to live out his Christian faith in spheres of life that are near and dear to his heart. One of his five children, Isabella, has Down syndrome, and he is from the Dominican Republic — where his extended family struggled to feed him.
For him, fame is just an opportunity to make a difference.
"Deidre & I are a/b leaving a legacy!" Pujols tweeted recently. "Don't underestimate your value & how God can use you in the world @pujolsfound."
He also seeks to live out his faith on the field by planting seeds, even in the midst of competition. In a video on the IAmSecond.com website, he says a friend once challenged him to begin asking opposing players who reach first base, "What is the most important thing in your life?"
"Sometimes, if a guy gets a couple of hits, I ask the same guy, 'Have you thought about it' and he will be like 'Yes. Why are you asking me that question?" and I will be like, 'Hey, the whole reason I'm asking you that is because there's more than the game.'"
In that same video, he says that after he gave his life to Christ, he was transformed.
"I don't want people to remember me as a baseball player," he says. "To me, off the field is more important than what I do on the field. Yeah, I want to be a great baseball player, but I always want to be a godly daddy, and godly husband, and set an example for my kids."