Albert Pujols is going back home. The three-time National League MVP signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Pujols, who was with the Los Angeles Angeles and Dodgers last year, spent his first 12 seasons with the Cardinals and became one of the best players of all time. Also, Pujols told reporters that 2022 will be the final season of his career.
"This is it for me," Pujols said. "This is my last round. Pujols, 42 also explained why he returned to the Cardinals. "For me, I think I'm here for a reason," he said, per MLB.com. "They believe I can still play this game and they believe I can help this organization win a championship. And myself, I believe in that, too." Pujols was with the Cardinals from 2001 to 2011 and put together a Hall of Fame career. Along with being named MVP in 2005, 2008, and 2009, Pujols helped the Cardinals win the World Series in 2006 and 2011. He was named NL Rookie of the Year in 2001, named NLCS MVP in 2004 and went to play in the All-Star game nine times while in St. Louis.
In 2012, Pujols signed a 10-year, $254 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels. He didn't have the same success as he did in St. Louis, but Pujols did make his 10th All-Star game in 2015. He was released from the Angels in May of last year and quickly signed with the Dodgers. In 85 regular-season games for the Dodgers, Pujols hit .254 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs.
"There was always hope, so you never close the door," Pujols said. "The organization never closed the door on me, and I never closed the door, either. It's a great opportunity. Everything always happens on God's time, and it's the perfect time right now. I'm back here and I'm really excited." In his career, Pujols hit .297 with 679 home runs, 2,150 RBIs and 3,301 career hits.
"Any time Albert is motivated, it's a very, very dangerous thing," Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright said. "He's motivated to show people that he's not too old or over the hill. I don't think he wants this to be nostalgic; he wants to go out and prove something. That chip is a good one to put on your shoulder. It's cool to be loved, that's a nice thing, and nobody is more beloved than he is. But he wants to prove himself."