When it was revealed that slugger Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals were in agreement on a one-year deal for him to play with the team that saw him blossom into an MLB star, everybody started to wonder whether 2022 would be the last season of Pujols’ career.
Indeed, the player himself clarified the situation in regards to his future in the league.
“Albert Pujols announces that this will indeed be the final year of his career. His dream of going into the Hall of Fame together with close friend Yadier Molina should be realized,” USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweeted on Monday.
Albert Pujols announces that this will indeed be the final year of his career. His dream of going into the Hall of Fame together with close friend Yadier Molina should be realized.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 28, 2022
Pujols Will Get To Say Goodbye Under His Own Terms
Fans always want to see accomplished MLB stars retire with the team that made them stars, but only a few can get the opportunity: baseball is a business, and nobody (or very few executives) will sign a player and have him occupy a valuable roster spot just because of his past.
But Pujols’ legend in St. Louis is big enough that the parties just had to agree on a one-year deal for the slugger to say goodbye in front of the fans that cheered him from 2001 to 2011.
In St. Louis, Pujols was a Rookie of the Year, an MVP, a National League Championship Series MVP, a Gold Glover, a Silver Slugger winner, and most importantly, a two-time World Series champion.
He left for Los Angeles as a free agent for a few years, but the good son always find his way back home.
Now, Pujols will be a bench hitter or, potentially, a platoon option at first base and the designated hitter spot, for a contending team.
He will say goodbye in the thick of a playoff race, in front of thousands of cheering fans, and alongside his friends.
It’s hard to top that.NEXT: MLB Insider Shares Albert Pujols Fact That Will Make Fans Feel Old