It was the news that no Cardinals fan wanted to hear but the loss of Albert Pujols goes beyond the baseball field.
Chad Shamel met Pujols when he was just a child. He attended several outings sponsored by the Pujols Family Foundation that assists families with Down Syndrome.
Now Chad is 19 and his parents say families in California will soon know the kindness that Pujols showed in St. Louis.
‘It was just unbelievable what he brought here,’ said Laura Shamel. She said thanks to Pujols` generosity there was an overhaul of annual events making them as accessible to every child as possible. ‘No matter what kind of ability they had they could participate in all the activities and that was very important.’
Her husband Bob recalled how Pujols quietly purchased a trip to Disneyland for a family during one of the events. Then when he saw another family at the same table he did the same for them.
‘That was before he signed his first big contract so that was pretty neat,’ said Bob Shamel.
The family has a photo of Chad and Albert along with autographs from both the slugger and his wife.
A statement from the Pujols Family Foundation read that the work in St. Louis will continue. The Shamels hope that means appearances from Albert as well.
‘He`s like Santa when he walks into the room,’ described Laura Shamel. ‘All the kids go crazy and want to touch him.’
‘I don`t think he`s going to make the trip back to St. Louis from California to go to a bowling tournament,’ predicted Bob Shamel. ‘But we will have to wait and see.’