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Extra resources for Albert Pujols (Baseball Superstars)
Pujols was so hurt and upset that he briefly considered giving up baseball forever. “It did bother me, I won’t lie. I was disappointed,” Pujols said years later, quoted in Albert the Great. ” Maybe, he thought, he would go into engineering or medicine. After thinking it over, Pujols realized that he could not give up on his dream of playing professional baseball. His pride, Moving Up however, would not allow him to accept the Cardinals’ initial contract and $10,000 signing bonus. Instead, he agreed to play in Hays, Kansas, for the collegiate Jayhawk summer league.
Here, he is at bat for the Potomac Cannons in Virginia. He played most of the year for Peoria in the Class A Midwest League before spending a month with the Cannons in a high Class A league. Then, he joined the Memphis Redbirds for their play-off run in the Class AAA Pacific Coast League. Moving Up Cannons was Walt Jocketty, the St. Louis Cardinals’ general manager. “He came to bat with runners in scoring position,” Jocketty remembered, quoted in Albert the Great. “I think he was behind in the count 1-2, and [he hit] the next pitch [for a] base hit up the middle for an RBI.
These skeptics thought that, once pitchers learned how he played, they would be able to pitch better against him. Bob Brenly, the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, was one of the doubters. “We just don’t know the kid,” Brenly said at the time, quoted in Albert the Great. “The series we had in Arizona, we just had bad scouting reports. ” Brenly, though, went on to praise Pujols as a player. “He’s obviously a physically gifted young man. A lot of rookies come up at this level and feel overmatched.