A Major League Baseball first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujols, will not undergo surgery, as it may kick him out for the upcoming season.
Pujols is in need of reconstructive procedure on his chronically injured right elbow. In case it’ll really hamper Pujols from playing and become a significant problem, the operation is inevitable.
A minor injury received in 2003 led to a torn ulnar collateral ligament, bone spurs, arthritis and swelling in his elbow.
From 2001 (his debut) through the 2007 seasons, Pujols has led the major leagues in total bases (2,514) and extra-base hits (593). He was second in home runs (282) to Alex Rodriguez (329); second in RBI (861) to Rodriguez's 908; second in runs (847) to A-Rod's 874; second in doubles (298) to Todd Helton's 318; fourth in hits (1,344) to Ichiro Suzuki's (1,592), Juan Pierre (1,378), Derek Jeter (1,348); and second in batting average (.3315) to Suzuki (.3335). He also won the rookie of the year award in 2001.
In recent years, Pujols has become an excellent defensive player at first base, winning his first Gold Glove award in 2006.
He is the only player in baseball history to start his career with seven consecutive seasons with a .300 batting average, 30 HRs, 100 RBI. (Ted Williams 23 HRs in 1940, Joe DiMaggio 29 HRs in 1936)
He won (as did fellow Cardinal, catcher Yadier Molina) the prestigious Fielding Bible Award for his defensive excellence at first base, which is given to only one player per position in the major leagues.
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