Pujols Returns Home, Finds Fit With Cardinals

Linda Rider

With a wave of his hand and a suggestion of the cap, Albert Pujols walked again into the planet of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Putting on a large smile and his acquainted purple No. 5 jersey, Pujols emerged from over and above the correct area wall at Roger Dean Stadium concerning the first and next innings of a sport versus Houston on Monday.

Cardinals pitchers, catchers and coaches sitting down on chairs much down the line stood to acknowledge the 3-time NL MVP, as did the enthusiasts in the stands. Pujols strolled all over to the St. Louis dugout on the third base facet, the place he was greeted with hearty hugs and large-fives.

All these many years later on, the slugger who served the Cardinals acquire two Globe Sequence championship was house.

The Cardinals and Pujols have achieved settlement on a one particular-yr agreement valued at $2.5 million, supplying him a prospect to stop his profession in the place exactly where it begun.

The 42-calendar year-old Pujols used section of Monday movie conferencing with veteran St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina. The two invested 8 a long time as teammates in St. Louis.

“I’m happy for him to be below,” Molina stated. “It’s likely to be a pleasurable 12 months.”

Pujols played the initial 11 many years of his occupation in St. Louis, teaming with Molina to guide the Cardinals to the 2006 and 2011 Earth Collection titles.

“We’ve only received one particular point in mind – winning a further championship,” Molina said.

Prior to Monday’s Graprefruit League recreation, Cardinals heart fielder Harrison Bader posted a image on social media of what appeared to be a No. 5 Pujols jersey hanging in a Cardinals’ locker.

Pujols doesn’t swing nearly as fearsome a bat as he did throughout his St. Louis hey-day, but the Cardinals determined they have a place for a designated hitter who can strike remaining-handed pitching.

That is one particular matter Pujols even now does properly.

Pujols strike a mixed .236 for the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers past year, but strike .294 with a .939 OPS towards lefties.

Pujols wants 21 homers to grow to be the fourth job big leaguer to strike 700 in a vocation.

“Adding anyone like that is ridiculous critical,” initial-calendar year manager Oliver Marmol reported. “What he does with that clubhouse exterior of his ability established is unbelievable.”

The deal delivers Pujols back again to exactly where he turned a single of the game’s most effective and dangerous all-all-around hitters. The NL Rookie of the Calendar year in 2001 hit at least .300 with at minimum 30 homers and 100 RBIs in every of his initially 10 seasons in St. Louis.

A wildly well known participant in St. Louis, Pujols played his final recreation for the Cardinals on Oct. 28, 2011, a Activity 7 get more than Texas in the Environment Sequence.

Pujols won those three MVP awards and produced 9 All-Star groups with the Cardinals right before signing a 10-12 months, $240 million deal with the Angels in 2012. He was waived by the Angels previous May well although hitting .198, and signed with the Dodgers, for whom he strike 12 homers and drove in 38 runs in 85 video games.

With the Nationwide League now adopting the DH rule, the Cardinals located a healthy with Pujols as opening day on April 7 from Pittsburgh at Busch Stadium approached.

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