Albert Pujols has had a flair for the dramatic throughout his 22-year MLB career, a skill that was on display Sunday during the St. Louis Cardinals' final home game of the 2022 regular season.
After belting an RBI ground-rule double his first time up, Pujols outdid himself by launching a two-run homer in his next at-bat. He was subsequently removed from the game in the top of the fifth alongside longtime teammates Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina, ensuring that his final regular-season at-bat in St. Louis was a home run -- the 702nd of his illustrious career.
Albert Pujols Home Run
It was a fitting moment in what has been a remarkable comeback season for the 42-year-old slugger. Not only did he give the home crowd one last long ball to celebrate, but it was also another instance of the future Hall-of-Famer's career coming full circle.
Pujols broke in with St. Louis in 2001 and introduced himself to Cardinals fans by homering in his first career home plate appearance. Few in the stands that day could have guessed that there'd be over 700 more trips around the bases for the then-21-year-old.
Now, 21 years later, Pujols has returned to St. Louis after playing with the Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers from 2012-2021. He's hitting better than he has in years, reminding Cardinals fans of how good he was in his prime. Then to top it all off, he bookended his St. Louis career with one more moonshot.
St. Louis Cardinals World Series Odds
Cardinals fans haven't seen the last of Pujols, though. St. Louis has already clinched the NL Central and will return home on Friday to kick off the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Pujols previously led the Cardinals to World Series titles in 2006 and 2011, so their fans are hoping he can do it one more time before he hangs it up. St. Louis currently has the seventh-best World Series odds (+1800) on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds, and another championship trophy might be the only thing sweeter than a final home run.