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Albert Pujols will end his MLB career with the Cardinals

Legendary first baseman and likely Hall of Famer Albert Pujols announced Monday that he would be retiring after the 2022 MLB season, telling reporters, “That’s it.”

Pujols will end his career where he began as he signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and reunited the franchise with one of the most successful players of all time. He will wear the No. 5 uniform, which the team never reissued after its 2011 World Series championship season.

“We are pleased and excited to have Albert return to the Cardinals for the upcoming season,” Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. said in a statement. “This reunion with Albert is a wonderful opportunity not only for him and the Cardinals, but for our amazing fans, the St. Louis community, our players and staff, and everyone associated with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. We look forward to seeing Albert back in ‘Birds on the Bat’ and in his familiar number 5 uniform.”

The signing will give Pujols, 42, what appears to be a retirement tour with the team that drafted him in 1999 and for which he played his first 11 years in MLB.

“Rarely do you get an opportunity to see or be a part of ‘living’ history,” said John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations. “From the day we called out Albert’s name in the design room in 1999 to now as we focus on 2022, this reunion makes a lot of sense. We’re all excited to reunite Albert with his Cardinals family, and for the fan in all of us, including myself, it feels like flipping through the pages of a favorite scrapbook or baseball card album and seeing how those images and memories jump off the pages.”

Pujols made his debut for the Cardinals in 2001 at the age of 21 and made an immediate impact. He won the 2001 Rookie of the Year award, made the All-Star team, and finished fourth in the NL MVP contest.

His unparalleled success lasted 11 seasons with the Cardinals, as he averaged .328 batting, 445 homers and 1.329 RBI with the team. He was named the NL MVP in 2005, 2008 and 2009 – and won two World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

Albert Pujols is running
Albert Pujols plays a groundball against the Chicago Cubs in the fifth inning on July 29, 2006 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.
Diamond Pictures/Getty Pictures

Although Pujols only played in 2001, he holds the 2000 Decade NL “Triple Crown” for batting (.334), home runs (336), and RBI (1,112).

After celebrating the title in 2011, Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Pujols played in 1,181 games for the Angels, where he hit .256s, hit 222 homers and 783 runs. Pujols was released by the Angels last May, just months before his contract expired.

Pujols played for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season and the Cardinals expect he will play a similar role for them.

Though his performance isn’t what it once was, Pujols will have a chance to be the designated right-hander against left-handed pitchers or come off the bench in a chilling roll in late innings, the St. Louis reported Post Dispatch .

Chase Utley and Albert Pujols in the outfield
Philadelphia Phillies’ Chase Utley (left) and Albert Pujols at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on April 5, 2006.
WireImage

The move is also a reunion for Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol, who has known Pujols since the coach was drafted from St. Louis as a player in 2007, he told Fox News Digital last week.

During his career, Pujols was a ten-time All-Star and six-time Silver Slugger. He currently ranks fifth on the all-time MLB home run list with 679. He’s 18 home runs away to overtake Alex Rodriguez for fourth all-time.

The Cardinals open the season April 7 at Busch Stadium with a matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/29/albert-pujols-will-end-mlb-career-with-cardinals/ Albert Pujols will end his MLB career with the Cardinals

JOE HERNANDEZ

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