It’s not often that a player can come to a team for such a short amount of time and have a huge impact. But that was exactly the case with Albert Pujols coming to the Dodgers last season. Released by the Angels during the season, he put on the blue and came up north to Los Angeles to take on an unfamiliar role.
Initially, Pujols was projected to take on a veteran pinch-hitting role. The aging veteran was set to take on left-handed pitching and grab a bat when called upon late in games. But the Dodgers faced a lot of injuries to position players in 2022, resulting in a lot of starts for Albert.
He rewarded that faith in him with a pretty solid offensive output. Pujols put up some of his best numbers in the year, albeit in a limited opportunity down the stretch. But he won over the fanbase very quickly and he had all of the respect from the guys in the clubhouse.
When a future first-ballot hall of famer comes in, the young players are going to do everything they can to absorb the wisdom. And that’s what happened with the Dodgers and some of their younger players. It was the perfect match, even if they didn’t re-sign Albert in free agency.
Instead, Albert went back to where it all began. He signed a deal with the St Louis Cardinals and will get some chances there to play with the team that helped to make him a star. But when the Dodgers and Cards play again, there will be nothing but love.
But this will be it for Albert. He announced when he came to the Cardinals that 2022 would be his final season. One heck of a career tio, we’ll never forget you in Los Angeles.