Pujols makes retirement official, signs papers

October 31st, 2022

It’s official: Albert Pujols’ legendary MLB playing career is over after the 42-year-old signed retirement papers with the Cardinals on Monday, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

Pujols, nicknamed “The Machine,” was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States as a teenager. He was drafted by St. Louis in the 13th round of the 1999 MLB Draft and played 22 big league seasons from 2001-22.

The first 11 seasons of Pujols’ career were spent with the Cards, before the slugging first baseman signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels prior to the 2012 campaign. Upon being released by the Halos in May of ’21, he played the rest of that year with the Dodgers before re-signing with the Cardinals for his final season in ’22.

What an epic farewell tour it was. Pujols eclipsed the 700-homer milestone with an incredible power resurgence — he hit 24 home runs with an .895 OPS in 351 plate appearances, ending his career on a high note by helping St. Louis reach the postseason with his best year since he had last played for the Cards in 2011.

Albert Pujols’ 700th home run
Sep 23, 2022 · 2:30
Albert Pujols’ 700th home run
Pujols brings his career to a conclusion as one of the greatest hitters in MLB history. He finished with 703 home runs and a slash line of .296/.374/.544. He ranks fourth on the all-time AL/NL home run list behind only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). Pujols also ranks second in AL/NL history in RBIs (2,218) and total bases (6,211), fifth in doubles (686) and 10th in hits (3,384).

Pujols was the 2001 National League Rookie of the Year, the ’03 NL batting champion (.359), a three-time NL MVP (2005, ’08 and ’09), a two-time Gold Glove Award winner at first base and an 11-time All-Star. He was also named MVP of the 2004 NL Championship Series against the Astros.

Pujols won two World Series rings with the Cardinals — one in 2006, and another in ’11. In Game 3 of the 2011 Fall Classic against the Rangers, he became the third player to hit three home runs in a World Series game, joining Ruth and Reggie Jackson (the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval joined that list the following year).

With his playing career over, the countdown to Cooperstown begins for Pujols, who will likely see his plaque being hung at the Baseball Hall of Fame when he is first eligible in 2028.