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Baseball Is Beautiful - Albert Pujols' 2022 Season


Source: This photo was captured by Matthew Inman at Albert Pujols second to last career game.

Albert Pujols Goes Out With a Bang

One of the St. Louis Cardinals' biggest surprises of 2022 was the fact that Albert Pujols came back to the team....and it was like he never left.

From 2001 to 2011, Pujols was the man in St. Louis. He helped a team that struggled through the 90s, without anything to really cheer for in that decade, reach World Series glory. He didn't just do this once, but twice. His individual success as well as the success that the team saw while he was playing for them made it to where he was seen as an icon in St. Louis. Some may even say that he was part of St. Louis. This is why his departure following the Cardinals' 2011 season, which saw them win their second championship in Pujols' illustrious tenure, came as a huge surprise. It hurt the city of St. Louis and made it to where the fans no longer wanted anything to do with their once beloved hero. However, this "hatred" did not last long.

In both 2019 and 2021, Pujols returned to St. Louis. In 2019 he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels, and in 2021 he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers. During both series in which Pujols returned to St. Louis to face off against his old team, he was greeted with standing ovations and tear-jerking tributes. In both series, Pujols would hit a home run, and be cheered on by the Cardinals' faithful.

These two magic home runs made it seem as though there was something about St. Louis that just brought out the best in Albert, and in 2022, this theory was tested.

Before the beginning of the 2022 Major League season, long-time Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina announced that 2022 would be his final season of play. This made it to where 2022 already had a different vibe surrounding it when it came to St. Louis Cardinals baseball. The vibe shifted even more when our hero, Albert Pujols, announced that he would be returning to finish his career as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. Joining his best friend, for what the two hoped would be a storybook ending.

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Pujols was ready to close the book on something special. And in 2022, he did just that. He did the impossible and hit the 700 home run mark, finishing with 703, competed in the All-Star game and Home Run Derby, and put together a great season statistically. But most importantly, he did all of this in a Cardinals uniform with his best friend, Yadier Molina, by his side.

Now, there is only one thing left to say; Thank you Albert.

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* They are not owned by the author, and are being used for educational purposes only.

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