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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. .VoxVeritas - Feb 1, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    “Eventually Rex Ryan and the Jets may realize what they “won” by advancing in the playoffs. Even in a playoff loss Belichick may be giving the Ryan and the Jets his own version of “waving with less than five fingers.””
    The culture of losing got so bad that Pats fans are now saying that it’s a good thing when the Pats don’t win. They should lose in the wildcard round every year so they can sign free agents since they seem to have a problem with developing young talent. Or better yet, why not tank the entire season and get a really high draft pick so that the talent that they acquire doesn’t have to be developed so much?

  2. ecp - Feb 1, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    Albert Pujols graduated from high school in Kansas City and went to junior college there. He still maintains a home there. It’s absolutely inexcusable that he has yet to visit the Negro Leagues Museum.
    Buried in the article: Joe Mauer blew them off too. So much for the MVPs.

  3. moreflagsmorefun - Feb 1, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    Gibson was/ is a mean son of a gun , McCarver is annoying too.
    I don’t know why he didn’t slug him one in the nose.

  4. Mike C - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    The museum needs to move to Cooperstown and be an affiliate member of the Baseball HOF. Get rid of the administrative staff and share with the Baseball HOF. It is the only way it can survive.

  5. YX - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Um…. why is The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum giving awards to Pujols?

  6. YX - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    And did like 20 points disappear all of sudden?

  7. ecp - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    The Negro Leauges Museum gives out the usual assortment of yearly awards and they don’t necessarily go to players of color – although Pujols would qualify.

  8. YX - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Um… OK
    I can’t figure out if that’s the cause or the result of their money trouble.

  9. LS - Feb 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Uhh… and this is news why? Stop waisting my time with worthless stories. Pujols is an awesome player and person. If he doesn’t show up at an awards ceremony, who cares. Stop trying to make a story out of nothing.

  10. Ebb - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    I agree with LS. Stop trying to make a story out of nothing. If the Negro League Museum can’t make it on its own, maybe it should disband. No one owes it anything for its survival.

  11. sjp - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    This really sounds like the museum is giving awards to players it thinks will be a draw in order to make money. I understand why they would do it, but that doesn’t change the fact that it feels contrived and manipulative of players.
    Here’s a question: why hasn’t the museum been aided by any current African American players that have made 10s of millions of dollars? Seems like a relatively small donation (compared to their salaries) would go a long way.

  12. Jeff - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    To be fair to Mauer, this past weekend he was appearing at the annual TwinsFest, which is a team sponsored event. I don’t know if it’s mandatory, but most every current player appears. So that to me adequately excuses his absence.

  13. ecp - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:18 PM

    It might excuse Mauer’s absence, but it doesn’t excuse him totally ignoring the invitation.
    Elvis Andrus was at the Rangers FanFest this weekend also, but found time to slip away early to accept his award in Kansas City.

  14. Nora - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Mauer was doing Twinsfes. He had a good excuse.

  15. Nora - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    How popular is Elvis Andrus? Did he win an MVP for his hometown team? Fans are more important then any award. Sorry. Is he a hometown hero. Mauer was obligated and completely cleared and should holdf no blame for not going. Pujols on the other hand…

  16. YX - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    To be fair to Mauer, he is not even black (not even Albert Pujols is black black)!

  17. Marvin Higgins - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Most of the latin players are racist jose riijos of the mets would not even call Willie Randolphs name. Most of these guys come from extreme poverty come to america and act like they were living in a mansion Tejada use to say he slept on a mattress with holes in it.They coame here dont want to associate with Black players look at the mets roster.Minayas only hire latino players.

  18. jim Hauser - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    I hope that MLB is helping out with generous donations to help support a very valuable history lesson for us all.

  19. paul - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    Was Bill Belechick being honored by the negro league museum? Am I missing something?

  20. ecp - Feb 1, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    Go back and read my earlier post. I said Mauer had an excuse for not attending. I said he didn’t have an excuse for totally ignoring the invitation. How about just a “sorry, I can’t make it, I have a prior obligation.” He didn’t even do that.

  21. Peter Fland - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Having been to the museum years ago, I was stunned to see only another couple their. The museum is wonderful and deserves public support. The Negro Leagues are part of our cultural and baseball heritage. The produced many wonderful ballplayers when integration finally occurred. From everything I know of Albert Pujols, I would have expected more.

  22. miguel estrada - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    The only ways for the negro league baseball museum to surive are
    1 – get Obama to give billions of dollars in “cash for clunkers” type stimulus spending plan. Just make the place a palace. Gawdy, spinners, bling bling.. all that. Just get the people in there at any cost.
    2 – re-start a new negro league. That way NEW / shiney artifacts can go in there. This league should be financed by the Federal Government as well. That is, the players salaries are paid for mostly in Obama’s spend plan.

  23. Bob Failing Jr - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    From my point of view, transplanting the Museum to Cooperstown was an excellent suggestion. This beautiful village already means baseball history. What a welcome addition this would be for the fan. Imagine having the full history of the game in one honorable location. The fans are already there. It would be fabtastic for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to share their hospitality with a similer meaningful venture. I am all for it.

  24. eric - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    some of you dont ‘get’ it….this museum is for all of us, not just black people or black ballplayers….its part of our sports heritage and deserves our respect and support. pujols shoulda been there, that’s about respect for the game.

  25. STLFun - Feb 1, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    I do like the response listed by Todd Perry (executive director of the Pujols Family Foundation) as an answer to the “No-Show”.
    http://royalsblog.kansascity.com/?q=node/491
    “Pujols No-show
    Submitted by ToddPerry on February 1, 2010 – 2:16pm.
    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
    http://www.pujolsfamily.org

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