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UPDATE: Pujols responds to the no-show claims

Feb 1, 2010, 4:12 PM EDT

UPDATE: Sam Mellinger, who ran the original story this morning regarding Albert Pujols and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, received a response from Pujols’ foundation:

Sam,

Albert’s wife, Deidre is expecting their fourth child this week. She
has been given “any minute” status from her doctor since last Monday.
Albert has asked us not to accept any interviews or appearances that
would take him away from his wife for more than a few hours at a time.
(Personally I am surprised that he left Dee Dee alone to make the quick
trip to KC, even for the day.)

Never forget, the ‘game’s greatest player’ is also a husband and a
father. Those are two roles he will always put before personal
achievement, awards or accolades. Knowing Albert, as I do, I can safely
tell you that in no way was his absence meant as a sign of disrespect
to the Museum, it’s history, or it’s it’s staff. Albert’s mind was
simply focused on finishing his obligation in KC (the hitting clinic)
and getting home to his pregnant wife in St Louis.

I appreciate you standing up for the Museum. They need a champion
right now. But, your blog seemed a little heavy-handed torwards a guy
who clearly did the right thing. Remember, there are always two sides
to every story.

Peace,
Todd Perry
Executive Director, Pujols Family Foundation

Like I said this morning, Pujols’ history entitled him to a response before we cast judgment. Now he’s responded, and put any judgment I would have had in the drawer for someone more deserving. Sure, I’ll observe that part of the problem was reported to be Pujols’ failure to be clear with the museum regarding whether he’d come or not and that a clear and early “no” would have prevented there being an issue, but I think that’s a good enough answer. I have a couple of kids and had out of town trials scheduled around each of their due dates, so I know how nerve wracking it can be to be several hours from home when the bun is about to emerge from the oven.

Case closed as far as I’m concerned.  Now: everyone take a trip to Kansas City and visit the museum. And if you can’t make it there personally, at least consider becoming a member.  It’s a really fabulous place and it deserves some support.

12:28 P.M.:  The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is in financial trouble.
Though this is reason for concern, this is not exactly news, as the
Museum has been struggling for a few years now. But on a weekend when
the Museum gave out their Legacy Awards, Albert Pujols didn’t help matters any:

Too bad baseball’s best player didn’t come to make it better. The
museum gave him two awards. He accepted neither in person, and didn’t
record a video thank you like several others who couldn’t show up –
and like he’s done in the past.

Pujols was in Kansas City this weekend, you know. He worked a
hitting clinic and signed autographs for kids at a facility in north
Kansas City on Sunday. Word is he drove from St. Louis and back to do
the clinic – a good
cause on its own – so he could spend more time with his family. The
problem with that is he owns a house in Kansas City. The other problem
with that is there are hotels in Kansas City . . . If Pujols would’ve
come to be honored, the museum surely could’ve
sold more tickets in a year they’re in desperate need of money.

No one is obligated to do anything of this nature, and given Pujols’
history of being an eminently standup guy it’s probably worth hearing
his explanation for leaving the Museum in the lerch before casting judgment. Still, given how much trouble the joint is in, they really didn’t need this.

  1. ecp - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Good to see a response from Pujols.

  2. ted - Feb 1, 2010 at 4:34 PM

    Why is the term “Negro” still being used these days when the word has obviously been deemed “politically incorrect”. Remember Sen. Reid’s recent comments and the fallout that followed? Someone in MLB make a decision and move the Museum to Cooperstown, as an annex of the MLB HOF- Problem solved. Finally, enough of the eggshell (PC) tip-toeing already-

  3. Larry - Feb 1, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    Family situations such as this, a new born child to be, and his wife, supercede any award ceremoney, even a HOF induction. Players take off games for the birth of their children. It was obviously getting very close to the birth of his chiled so he stayed in St. Louis. It’s just one of those situations that was out of control of the player.

  4. Ron - Feb 1, 2010 at 10:29 PM

    First of all, MLB doesn’t ‘own’ the Negro League Museum. It is a privately run organization.
    Secondly, MLB doesn’t own the Hall of Fame. It is a privately run organization.
    Third, the reason the Negro League Museum exists is to educate fans, which has shown to be entirely necessary, since most ‘fans’ don’t even know the structure of the halls/museums. A little education is a nice thing.
    Fourth, Kansas City has a long history with the Negro Leaguses, being one of the premier, long-term fanchises in the league. They are the Yankees of the Negro League. Cooperstown has no history with baseball at all, except for Albert Spaulding making up the history of the game. See the end of comment 3.
    Fifth, they are seperate entitites, and deserve to be. MLB unfairly kept the game segregated for years, and a seperated museum is what is needed, as combining them would cause the Negro League Museum to lose it’s identity.
    Sixth, Kansas City is in the middle of the country and much more accessible to the entire country than Cooperstown.
    Seventh, Kansas City rocks. The museum, a great park to watch the game in, the Jazz museum, Gates barbeque, and much perferable to any fan that is tired of the east coast/west coast bias in baseball.

  5. Kevin - Feb 2, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    Why, oh why does the Executive Director for the Pujols Family Foundation not know the difference between its and it’s??

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