St. Louis Cardinals 42-year-old slugger Albert Pujols signed a one-year deal to retire in front of the fans that loved and cherished him so much from 2001 to 2011, and even after that because true love never dies.
That year, 2011, was when he left to sign with the Los Angeles Angels.
He was never the same hitter he was in St. Louis…until he returned this season.
The all-time great slashed .270/.345/.550 with 24 home runs and a 150 wRC+, his best offensive output in years.
However, not everything was as smooth as it seems.
“Albert Pujols said he thought about retiring in June this season. Instead, he’ll finish his career as one of four players in MLB history with over 700 career homeruns,” SportsCenter tweeted.
Albert Pujols said he thought about retiring in June this season.
Instead, he'll finish his career as one of four players in MLB history with over 700 career homeruns.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 7, 2022
In fact, at one point in June, he was hitting .198/.294/.336 and had hit just four homers in the season.
He Made Adjustments And Took Off
He had 17 left to go to reach 700, and it seemed like a lot.
He really thought about calling it quits.
“No, I did, I swear I did,” Pujols said of weighing retirement, per ESPN.
“There were some times when I [asked] myself that, many times.”
It was pointed out to him that he wasn’t holding his bat the right way, and he made a change in early July.
He took off, hitting .314/.377/.681 with 20 homers in just over three months.
“I decided, ‘I’m going to stick with it!’ I knew sooner or later it was going to come and turn around for me, because it can’t be like it was all year long,” he stated.
What an impressive turnaround.
Few people saw it coming, but generational hitters can thrive for years when making adjustments.