The ninth annual Pujols Family Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament drew current and former athletes as well as other members of the Cardinals family and celebrities.
Those in attendance included Pujols teammates Yadier Molina, Marc Rzepcynski, Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson, Chris Carpenter, Lance Lynn, Jason Motte and Gerald Laird. Cards general manager John Mozeliak and coaches Mark McGwire and Jose Oquendo were also there, along with athletes Dale Murphy, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Piazza, Meadowlark Lemon and Shaquille O’Neal. Actor Dennis Haysbert from "Major League" and the television show "24" also played in the tournament.
"You have reached the pinnacle when the Allstate man shows up," said Pujols' wife, Diedre, referring to Haysbert's role as the insurance company's spokesman.
The tournament paired the celebrities with regular players who paid for the honor. An auction was also held later in the evening. The money benefits the Pujols Family Foundation, which does work with children with Down syndrome and families in the Dominican Republic, both causes close to Pujols’ heart.
"It's been amazing," Pujols told the media before the event. "Nine years -- it seems like yesterday and it's already nine years. It's awesome, the money that we have raised. We can't do it without fans and sponsors and the people that support our foundation.
The foundation has several projects coming up, including two trips to the Dominican Republic. CEO Todd Perry will be leading a team in September, and in November, Pujols and Mike Matheny will be bringing Matheny’s youth-league baseball team to play against the little league team that Pujols set up in the Dominican last year.
"Great experience for those kids who have the little league," Pujols said. "Hopefully in the future we can -- I don't know how hard that's going to be -- but maybe bring a group of guys from down there up here during the summer where they can play. That's something that me and Mike have been talking about."
Pujols was asked by reporters about his future with the Cardinals; he will become a free agent at the end of the season. The first baseman declined to discuss the topic.
"I'm just thinking about this event," Pujols said. "I'm not thinking about the things that are out there for us in the offseason. Right now I'm just doing what I can in this season."
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