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Albert and Dee Dee Pujols Go to Bat for the Trafficked and Enslaved

Below the halo-top at Angel Stadium is a baseball Hall of Famer in waiting.  While Albert Pujols’ hitting milestones ascend, so does his conviction to go to bat for those trafficked and enslaved. Albert and his wife Dee Dee are founding ambassadors - to Strike Out Slavery - with pre and post game events - informing those unaware of the plight and reassuring those who are affected by it!

Dee Dee Pujols says, “Baseball is our platform. It’s 162 games a year, packing millions of people and 30 stadiums across our country! That is an enormous platform! Being able to bring Strike Out Slavery into these ballparks brings local organizations and national organizations into these cities to allow fans to interact with getting involved!”

Harmony Dust Grillo is a survivor advocate who addresses stadium audiences, saying, “Albert and Dee Dee are willing to use their voices to do an event like this is so encouraging and empowering to all of us to all of us who are survivors.”

Question:” It’s an issue that people don’t want to look at. They want to keep it at a distance what makes it personal for you?

Albert Pujols: “It can happen to any of our kids, so I know people don’t want to deal with it but that is the problem, that there is an issue and we need to deal with it! I have five kids myself you know, so I need to educate my kids as the leader of my house to make sure I raise them the right way and a lot of people think that it just happens now in another country. It happens in our backyard!”

Question: “Major-league baseball Dee Dee, is a big, big business!  Easy or difficult getting their support for events like this?”

Dee Dee Pujols : “Um, gradual! I realized that they didn’t know much about it! Organ trafficking, labor trafficking, sex trafficking, there’s like 27 different types of trafficking. Nobody likes any of it! So we came back here to the Angels, we brought all those organizations and we just asked for permission to be able to do this event. We’re giving you an experience to learn about human trafficking, help educate the community, but do it in a very tasteful, palatable way. But in a powerful way!”

Question: “How do we size up that opponent of trafficking?

Dee Dee Pujols: “The issue, not just domestically but globally,  is so enormous and very hidden so it’s almost impossible to actually get the full scope of this atrocity. We’re in a place with what we know to position ourselves to fight back through prevention and education. Whether there’s 45 million or 27 million people caught in this - if one person’s caught in it - everyone has work to do!”

Question: “Baseball players can quickly be reduced to a statistic in a uniform. A commodity of sorts! Victims of trafficking can also become these faceless numbers. Tell me about the value of people.”

Albert Pujols:  “I know it’s not about me! It’s about - more than baseball! It’s about reaching to others and making the impact in the community. It’s great to be able to accomplish what I have accomplished in the game but I don’t want people to remember me as one of the best baseball players.  I want people to remember me as one of the person that walk and fear the Lord and I want to be able to help pour into others that love that He give me every day.”

Question: “So Dee Dee with the messaging, what is the one thing that they rally to?

Dee Dee Pujols: “People are pumped! They get to have this experience – here! And, that they have professional athletes getting behind the cause and standing with all of the organizations and the survivor advocates and with a community about serious things. This is something that can be stopped! This is something that can be helped! And it’s going to take educating the masses to put an end to this!”

Harmony Dust Grillo: “There are more people enslaved today than any other time in human history. Trafficking and exploitation exists! And it exists right here! Like hit people with the truth because it’s going to break chains! We can’t fix what we don’t face and we can’t face what we don’t see. There’s nothing like being free.”    

Question: “What are you finding that players are rising to in this challenge?

Albert Pujols: “Players getting educated, like myself, you know, because there’s a lot of players around the league that don’t even know anything about it! And I think that’s the message that we want to send. We want to be able to educate the players but we also want to be able to educate the fans!

Question: “But what about the core of the consistent issue, unless it’s broken it’s just gonna keep cycling.

Dee Dee Pujols: “We live in a fallen world! You’re talking about an issue in the area of perversion! And I truly believe that the devil lives and owns that space! A really big underbelly! A deep, deep root! A demand! When you have a nation that has exposure to the level of pornography that we do - this is a much bigger conversation. We really are just treating symptoms!”

Question: “Shedding light on this issue, deliverance, restoration, do those terms look different to you now?”   

Dee Dee Pujols: “I know there was a day when I was lost because I didn’t know who I was and I lived extremely reckless! But when I found my identity in Christ the whole narrative changed. So I feel like it’s our job that every person I walk in front of who has an eternal existence to give them what I know.”

Question: “Albert, you already have secured a historic Hall of Fame career. How would you advise others as to how a legend should live their life? ”

Albert Pujols: “To be a leader you don’t have to have big numbers, you don’t have to be the best player! You just need to be able to use the talent that God has given you and to be vocal and to be open to talk and get involved! What I have learned over my 19, 20 years of walking with Christ is to be able to use the opportunity he has given you to impact others for the Kingdom and glory of God!”

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