The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
Cardinals Elect Albert Pujols as New Pope
Originally posted 4/25/2005

Above: Pope Medwick I, formerly Cardinal Albert Pujols of St. Louis
ST. LOUIS - After only two days of balloting, the College of Cardinals elected All-Star slugger Albert Pujols Tuesday afternoon to succeed the late Pope John Paul II. Approximately an hour after being chosen, Pujols was introduced by Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa to a throng of faithful gathered around the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch. LaRussa also announced that Pujols had chosen to be called Pope Medwick I after the late Cardinals Hall of Famer Joe "Ducky" Medwick, who in 1937 became the last National League hitter to win the Triple Crown.

"Dear brothers and sisters," said Pope Medwick I, speaking both Spanish and English, "the Cardinals have elected me -- a simple, humble first baseman from Santo Domingo." The former Albert Pujols then pledged to do his best to lead his flock to a World Series title, something the Cardinals have not achieved since 1982.

Pujols' election followed speculation that the Cardinals may reach out and elect a Latin American pope for the first time in history. "The Cardinals have long realized the importance of reaching out to their rapidly expanding base third-world base," said Vatican analyst John-Peter Pham, "mostly through scouting and baseball academies in the Caribbean and South America. The election of Medwick I clearly shows that that they are interested in continuing to move in that direction."

Many Catholic scholars expressed misgivings about the age of Pujols following the election, worrying that his youth and inexperience may leave him unprepared for the rigors of the papacy. "Pope Medwick I is, at 25, by far the youngest pope ever elected," said Catholic League president William Donohue. "Many American Catholics have grave doubts about his ability to do the job."

ESPN's Peter Gammons pointed out, however, that Pope Medwick I is the first player in baseball history to hit at least .300 with 30 home runs, 100 runs scored and 100 RBI in each of his first four seasons. "Pujols was the perfect choice for the Cardinals to make," Gammons said. "He'll provide the sort of vitality and dynamism that many Americans and Europeans have been missing from the Church for decades now."

Religious experts also noted that should Pope Medwick I continue to play as well as he has every year since his rookie season of 2001, he could become the first Cardinal to win the National League MVP award since His Holiness Willie McGee I in 1985.

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