Courtesy @Pujolsfive on Twitter

Albert Pujols to return to St. Louis Cardinals

Pujols will be finishing out his professional baseball career in St. Louis, says sports editor Callie Hummel.

After 10 years away from the St. Louis Cardinals, Albert Pujols is officially back on the team for his final year before retiring.

Pujols was first drafted by the Cardinals in 1999, a 13th round pick who developed into a three-time MVP, won two Golden Gloves, earned two World Series wins and became a 10-time All-Star who is expected to be a first ballot hall of famer. In 2011, right after the Cardinals won their 11th World Series, Pujols announced he would be joining the Los Angeles Angels. This was his second World Series win, both times as a Cardinal. He signed a 10-year contract for $254 million. As a staple to the Cardinals, both as a city favorite and a leader on the field, the news was surprising to everyone from teammates to fans.

Most well known for his home runs, adding up to 679 total home runs in the 23 years. Pujols is currently fifth in the nation for career home runs, only 17 behind fourth place. In his return to St. Louis, Pujols may be able to break out and continue rising up the ranks.

The first-baseman had dug his roots deep in the St. Louis community, which is why his departure came as a shock to many. He runs a family foundation out of St. Louis, so even in his years with Los Angeles, he frequents St. Louis for charity events and meeting with Cardinals’ fans. Even though he’s living across the country, Pujols claims that he “might be wearing a different uniform, but [he] feels like [he] never left.”

So when the 10-year contract with Los Angeles ended after the 2021 season and Pujols, at the age of 42, is nearing retirement, coming back to the team where it all started seemed like a no-brainer.

Throughout sports, there have been a prolific number of athletes who decided to return to their home teams for their final seasons, and Pujols has decided to do the same.

The current deal has Pujols signing a one-year contract with the Cardinals for $2.5 million, pending the results of his physical. When the season ends, so will his professional baseball career after 23 seasons.

Pujols isn’t just heading to St. Louis to have an easy finish to his long career back in the town where it all started. Leaders on the team, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina expressed their gratitude for Pujols’ return. He pushes the young players to be better without saying anything, simply leading by example of the training regimen they must uphold to be considered one of the greats.

Pujols may be just a few months from his retirement, but the approaching end hasn’t done anything to damper Pujols’ talents — or his home runs. The managers for the Cardinals aren’t just taking him back because this is where he started; they still believe Pujols will be a big help to their team. The new head manager says, “He’s got more than something left. Albert wants to play this year because he can help a team win.” Pujols left the team once after a World Series win, and fans are hoping that this year is no different.

Post Author: Callie Hummel