It’s been quite a year for Albert Pujols.
This fall, behind the play of the famed slugger, the St. Louis Cardinals won their 11th World Series. A mere two months later, he signed a 10-year, $245 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
Fast forward to the Spring, and as baseball clubs prepare for the upcoming season, the Angels have created an ad campaign centered around Pujols. As part of the campaign, the organization has placed 20 billboards across Southern California featuring Pujols and the words, “El Hombre.”
Pujols isn’t a fan of the campaign.
Though he admits that he hasn’t yet talked to the Angels about the billboards, he told the Los Angeles media today that he prefers for them not to use the words “El Hombre” out of reverence to fellow former Cardinal great, Stan “The Man” Musial.
During his days in St. Louis, Pujols asked that the fans and the media not call him “El Hombre” because he felt that it was disrespectful to the man who he felt was most deserving of the name. Throughout his career as a Cardinal, he got to know Musial personally, and has stated that the has the utmost respect for Stan “The Man” both on and off the diamond.
He was asked by a member of the media if, since he is no longer in St. Louis, his feelings on the matter have changed.
He said they haven’t.
The Angels organization has stated that the meaning of “El Hombre” or “The Man” has a much different meaning in the two cities, but it appears that Pujols is standing by his feelings.
There is no word as to whether or not the ball club will continue the use of “El Hombre” or if the campaign around the name will continue, but Albert Pujol’s heart is certainly in the right place, honoring and respecting one of baseball’s all-time greats.