Pujols, the man, comfortable in own skin

Pujols, the man, comfortable in own skin

Few people have been more comfortable at the plate than Albert Pujols.

On Thursday night in Washington, the Cardinals first baseman slugged his 400th career homer, making him the third-youngest player in Major League history to reach the milestone, at 30 years, seven months and 10 days.

In search of his fourth National League MVP Award, Pujols is a machine in the final year of what must be considered one of the best decades of baseball ever, even up there with Babe Ruth's roaring '20s.

The part you rarely get to see, however, is how comfortable Pujols is in his own skin. That's him as a person, a husband, a father, a son, a 30-year-old, shiny-headed philanthropist. You see glimpses of it, such as that day in 2008 when he accepted the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. Now you get to see that side of him again -- for 90 seconds -- as one of the first key MLB figures who reveal their untold stories and personal journey to comfort for Dove Men + Care.

"Even with the success that I have found in this game," Pujols says, "you can never forget where you come from.

"My fans get to see my commitment to the game every time I step onto the field, but that's only a part of who I am as a man. Dove Men + Care has given me the chance to share the moments behind my personal journey that have taught me the true meaning of total comfort."

Watch as Pujols recalls playing in the streets of the Dominican Republic with a broomstick as a boy, before moving at age 16 to the States. See him recount his first day at Fort Osage High School in Independence, Mo., and what happened his first day on the school bus.

"There was snow on the ground. I slipped off the bus -- boom, right on the ground," he says.

Pujols remembers the "really bad car" he once drove, the one that broke down and reduced him to tears. He fondly recalls the hair of his youth, but his wife Deidre says by his side during the interview: "He's much sexier now -- with no hair." And he remembers how they met.

"That night we met, there she comes asking me for a dance," he says. "We started dancing ... the rest is history, I guess."

According to the folks behind the Dove Men + Care videos, these videos reveal the experiences from the baseball personalities' childhoods, awkward teenage years, and other life stages that have led them to a time when they can take others' expectations in stride and define their own success.

"Whether it's Albert locked in his batting stance or Andy staring into the catcher's glove, baseball fans have come to recognize how comfortable these guys are on the diamond," said Rob Candelino, Marketing Director Personal Wash US, Unilever. "The Dove Men + Care campaign takes a different look at these players and shows fans the stories and milestones these men have experienced on their journeys to finding comfort as husbands, dads, and friends."

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Follow @MLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.