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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Pujols 'stood out,' Sosa says

Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- If Sammy Sosa had a vote for the NL MVP, he would've picked Albert Pujols over Barry Bonds.

"Bonds had good numbers and has a name in the game, but Pujols deserved the award more than anybody," the Chicago Cubs star told The Associated Press on Wednesday night after returning home to the Dominican Republic.

Bonds got 28 of 32 first-place votes and 426 total points from the Baseball Writers' Association of America in results announced Tuesday.

Bonds hit .341 with 45 home runs and 90 RBI. The San Francisco outfielder became the only player to win three consecutive MVP awards, winning his sixth overall.

Pujols finished second, receiving three first-place votes and 303 total points.

The St. Louis slugger's .359 average led the majors and he had 43 home runs and 124 RBI. Sosa said his countryman's accomplishments overshadowed those of Bonds and others.

"No player in the National League stood out more than Pujols in 2003," Sosa said.

This homecoming is special for Sosa because baseball commissioner Bud Selig and other Cubs players will hold a celebration Saturday to honor Sosa for becoming the first Hispanic player to reach 500 homers.

Sosa, who turned 35 on Nov. 12, hit 40 homers this year. His total of 539 puts him 10th on the career list.