After hitting four home runs on Tuesday night, breaking the American League record for most bases in a game, Rangers leftfielder Josh Hamilton was quick to defer credit for his accomplishment.
"None of this would've been possible without God at my side, but I truly have to thank Albert Pujols for setting such an inspirational example," said Hamilton in a postgame press conference. "Tonight goes out to you, Albert. We miss you."
Leading the league with 14 long balls, Hamilton has been exacting an uncanny Pujols impression in the first month of the season. His astonishingly quick swing, delivered with brutal precision, is a ghostly reminder of Pujols' storied career with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he established himself as the most feared hitter of his generation.
"I know he's not with us anymore, but I can't shake the feeling that Albert was helping me tonight," said Hamilton. "I'd like to think his spirit lives through my bat."
Hamilton later announced that he would donate one thousand dollars to the Pujols Family Foundation for every home run he hits during the 2012 season.
"The man left an incredible legacy, and this is the least I can do to honor it," he said.
Hamilton's home run barrage is just the first of many dedications planned in the memory of Pujols. Flags at stadiums across baseball will fly at half-mast on Saturday, while the Angels plan to have 190 seconds of silence, one second for each of Pujols' batting average points while he was a member of the team.