10 years ago, an icon left the only baseball city he ever knew behind for a massive $240 million payday from the Anaheim Angels. 10 years later Albert Pujols returns to St. Louis with a different team, a different uniform color on his back, and still no regrets.
Before Sunday night’s loss in San Francisco, the future Hall of Famer and current Dodgers slugger spoke with media about that decision to leave the Cardinals after the 2011 season.
“I made that decision 10 years ago. I don’t think that’s something that I want to think about I made the right decision for me. I thought it was the best decision for me and my family and that’s it. There’s nothing to regret. If I could go back and change anything again, I wouldn’t change it. That’s what the lord had for me and that’s the decision that I made along with my family.”
At the time, Albert was coming off a World Series title with the Cardinals, the club’s second championship in five seasons. Now he returns with the Dodgers and with postseason hopes on the table for the first time in years.
Even still, with whatever uniform he’s wearing; whatever numbers he’s posted, or whatever his postseason status is, the Cardinal fan base doesn’t care. They’re only interested in welcoming home a long-lost son. Look no further than back during the 2019 season, his first return trip to Busch Stadium since leaving for Orange County.
“I think I took 13 plate appearances [during that series] and all 13 plate appearances there was a standing ovation and they were standing until I tipped my cap. That’s something that was really special to me. It ranks up there if not the best moment in my career probably up there one or two including the World Series.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts plans on working tío Albert into the starting lineup on Tuesday and Thursday for what could be the final time he plays in St. Louis (especially as a visiting player) during his Hall of Fame career.