Cards’ Pujols `thrilled’ to become U.S. citizen

first_imgST. LOUIS – Albert Pujols has won a National League MVP award, a Gold Glove and a World Series. He added a perfect 100 on his U.S. citizenship test to his resume this week. The St. Louis Cardinals’ player became a U.S. citizen Wednesday during a ceremony at the Eagleton Courthouse. Pujols’ wife Diedre arranged to have about two dozen relatives and friends watch U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber swear in Pujols. Chester Moyer, the officer in charge of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service office in St. Louis, said Thursday that Diedre Pujols served as her husband’s tutor. Moyer said the 27-year-old Pujols spent about a year preparing for the citizenship exam. “He even answered a bunch of additional questions and gave us more answers than we asked,” Moyer said. “He clenched his fist and said, `I got 100 percent!’ “He just had a grin from ear to ear,” Moyer said. “He was thrilled to become a citizen.” Pujols’ agent and officials with his foundation, the Pujols Family Foundation, did not return telephone calls seeking comment. The ceremony was open to the public, but there was no publicity about Pujols’ participation. He was the only person sworn in Wednesday. Pujols grew up in the Dominican Republic, moved with his father to the Kansas City area when he was 16 and graduated from Fort Osage High School in Independence, Mo., in 1998. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft after playing baseball at Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City. In six major league seasons, Pujols has 250 homers, 758 RBIs and a .332 batting average. He was the 2005 NL MVP and has finished second three times, including last season, when he hit 49 homers and drove in 137 runs while hitting .331 in leading the Cardinals to their first World Series title in 24 years. The first baseman won his first NL Gold Glove in 2006. center_img CINCINNATI – Right-hander Bronson Arroyo and the Reds agreed to a $25 million, two-year contract extension through 2010. Arroyo’s previous contract contains $8,075,000 in remaining guaranteed salary: $4,125,000 this year and $3.95 million in 2008. Arroyo’s deal came two days after the Reds agreed to a $36.5 million, four-year contract with Aaron Harang, their other top starter. That agreement also includes a 2011 option. OAKLAND – Outfielder Shannon Stewart and the Athletics have agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract. Stewart batted .293 last year with two homers and 21 RBIs in 174 at-bats for the Minnesota Twins. He was bothered by foot injuries and played in just 44 games. Stewart, who turns 33 later this month, has a .299 career average and 102 home runs in 12 big league seasons. He started his major league career with the Toronto Blue Jays and spent the last 3 seasons with the Twins. ARLINGTON, Texas – Right-handers Robinson Tejeda, Edinson Volquez and Josh Rupe were among 10 players who agreed to one-year contracts with the Rangers. Tejeda appears to have an inside track to the No. 4 spot in the rotation after going 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA in September. He bounced between Triple-A Oklahoma and Texas, where he was 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 14 starts. TAMPA, Fla. – Phil Hughes has an outside chance of making the New York Yankees starting rotation at 20 years old. Selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 2004 amateur draft, Hughes went 10-3 with a 2.25 ERA in 21 starts with Double-A Trenton after compiling a 1.80 ERA in five outings at Class A Tampa last year. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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