Pity Party

Albert thanks The ManThe Astros are still up 3-2 in the NLCS, with two great pitchers throwing in the next two games and all I read is how everyone feels so sorry for them. That’s just sad. Not that they want anyone’s, but where’s the pity for the Cards? They’re the team that won 100 games and dominated all season. They’re the ones who almost got eliminated by a team that wouldn’t have even made the playoffs in years past. The Cards finished 11 games ahead of them, for Pete’s sake.

All this, of course, was brought on by the game last night that will be baseball lore – talked about for years to come.

I’m still getting goose bumps reading about it…how the Houston crowd became eerily and suddenly quiet, how Houston was celebrating before the game was over, how starter Andy Pettitte slowly mouthed “Oh – my – God” as Albert’s monster smash rose over those gay train tracks they have. I dare say that, even if the Cards lose the series, this will be the moment everyone remembers. But oh how much sweeter it will be if they come back and take the next two.

This couldn’t have happened to a better guy either. At the risk of employing an overused cliche – Albert Pujols is a class act, on and off the field. When I was at a GIS conference this summer in San Diego, I met a guy at the Padres-Cardinals game who told me a story about his niece, a little girl named Kathleen Mertz who has Down Syndrome, and how Albert bought her an all expense paid trip to Florida when he found out her birthday was coming up. This was at a fund raiser in 2003. Albert then bought another trip for a little boy in attendance so he wouldn’t feel left out. Here’s the story.

There’s more: During the 2002 season, Kathleen, representing the Down Syndrome Assoc of St. Louis, threw out the first pitch before a Cardinals game. She asked Pujols to hit a home run for her. Just like in the movies, Albert slammed a two-run homer in his first at-bat. Pretty amazing.

Pujols has a special interest in Down Syndrome. He and his wife, Deirdre, have a DS child, daughter Isabella.

So, stop feeling sorry for a Houston team that was lucky to be in the post season, and start rooting for Isabella’s Dad’s team. They’re the ones who really deserve a pennant and a World Championship.

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