Pujols are not the first to fly to the Redbirds | St. Louis Cardinals

At the age of 42, Albert Pujols wrote the final chapter of his Hall of Fame career by playing his final season with the Cardinals after he starred for them from 2001-2011. But it’s not uncommon for local stars to return “home” at the end of their playing days here.

Pujols said he wasn’t familiar with this part of the Cardinals’ history, but said, in his own case, “It was just a chance to go back where things began for you. It’s a great opportunity. I think for all these guys the organization has given them a chance to go back. Same thing.” with me.

“I hope to finish strong and help this football club win the championship.”

Rogers Hornsby, the second Hall of Fame hitter, recognized as one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time, returned to the Cardinal at age 37 in 1933 and hit .325 as a part-time player, and after giving up that year, he was selected from Louis accepted the Browns, making him their player-manager, and Hornsby, who hit .299 for the Browns in five seasons, continued to play here until 1937.

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Hall of Fame player Joe Medwick, the last triple National League winner in 1937, returned to the Cardinal at age 35 in 1947 to hit 307 part-time before hitting 0.211 in 19 players the following year, the final season. He played with Brown in 1946 before moving to the Cardinals.

Albert Pujols takes the field against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium on Sunday, May 1, 2022. This was his first start at first base as a Cardinal since the 2011 World Championships. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

A staple of the Cardinals in the 1940s and 1950s, Hall of Famer Red Schoendienst returned in 1961 at the age of 38 to be coach and later manager with the Cardinals. He retired as a Cardinals player at the age of 40 in 1963 after hitting 0.301 and 0.300 as a part-time worker in 1961-1962.

Cardinals Hall of Famer Willie McGee, now head coach of the club, was a two-time batting champion and former Cardinals MVP player. He returned to play his last four seasons here at age 37-40 in 1996-99, hitting over 307 and .300 in the first two of those years.

Cardinals Hall of Fame The Cardinals’ first baseman Bill White, a key figure on the 1964 World Championship team, ended his career with the Cardinals in 1969 at the age of 35 after spending the previous three seasons with Philadelphia. The left-handed John Tudor, a famous Cardinal who played for the National League of Cardinals champions in 1985 and 1987, returned in 1990 to finish his career at age 36. He came out with a 12-4 record and a 2.40 average. He played for three Hall of Fame managers that same year at Whitey Herzog, Schoendienst (provisionally), and Joe Torre.

A month into the season, Pujols said he mostly enjoyed “being around such great kids. Young players who want to learn and pick my brain and I’m just passing on my wisdom and knowledge”.

One of those players was recently called up, soccer player Juan Yepes, who said he learned a lot from the Pujols in the few days they were together this spring and the Pujols encouraged him to get ready and ready after the Yepes were selected to Memphis late in camp.

Yepez has taken two hits in each of his first two games since his comeback, and in the long run, he may take some of the hits Pujols may have had.

It doesn’t seem to matter much to Pujols, at least on the surface, that he doesn’t play more. His presence is the main thing.

Sometimes, Pujols will make a suggestion. Other times, players will come to Pujols. Left hitter Brendan Donovan was the latest young player to seek advice from Pujols.

“The most important thing for them is to make sure they feel comfortable coming (to him) and have an approach to talking about hitting or whatever,” Pujols said. “This is what I love the most.

Pujols seems unfazed by the young players asking him questions. “Why should I be bothered?” He said. “I have the time because there was always someone who took the time and paved the way for me – to tell me the right thing.

“I think I have that responsibility.”

Pujols actually checked out two cities on his farewell tour – Miami and Kansas City. And soon, San Francisco, where the Cardinals are now.

“But you never know,” he said. “Maybe it’s not the last time in San Francisco because there might be playoffs there.

“I’m just trying to absorb everything and get ready to play every day.”

Although Pujols prepares to play every day, he doesn’t. He rarely starts in the designated hitter against a right-hand throw against which he was only two-for-24 (.083), both singles, before Friday night. Left-handed, he was seven versus 16 (.438) with a double and two homeowners and had an OPS of 1.346. It’s been one of my past 22 years overall.

In a recent start in Kansas City, the Pujols finished fourth with the Cardinals for the first time since May 21, 2010. It was the day veteran bowler Brad Penny grabbed a massive Grand Slam win against the Cardinals against the Angels and then left the game in the next game after tearing a muscle Swinging sideways on the field.

Penny never returned to play with the Cardinals. Pujols went to the other side, the Angels, two years later, but came back. Just as many of the other Cardinals stars have done.

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