Former Dodgers fan favorite Albert Pujols is one of the most decorated ball players in the game and definitely in this past generation. And on Friday, he became the fourth player ever to hit 700 home runs in the Major Leagues.
Pujols entered the league back in 2001 with the St. Louis Cardinals and took the league by storm winning NL Rookie of the Year and never looking back.
He spent 10 years with St. Louis winning 2 World Series titles, 3 NL MVP’s, and many other awards and accolades.
In the 2011 off-season, Pujols entered free agency and decided to sign with the Anaheim Angels for 10 years, $254 million. His tenure with Anaheim was one to forget compared to his time in St Louis.
However, in May of 2021, the Dodgers signed the slugger to a one-year deal after Anaheim released him earlier that month.
The future Hall of Famer shared some thoughts about his time in LA with the media on Friday.
“They brought me so much joy and welcomed me. It was pretty special.” …“I was talking to Friedman and Doc in batting practice, if they wouldn’t have given me that opportunity, I don’t think I would be sitting here today. Because of that and the way they respected me, the whole coaching staff, whole organization from the owner all the way down, it was pretty amazing moment. It allowed me to really find that joy in this game.
The Dominican Republic native also shared how it pushed him to go at it one more year.
“I think when you have an organization that has your back, which the Dodgers did give me that opportunity and believe in me, knowing I was able to help the organization a lot last year with the role I was given. It opened the door for me to have the Cardinals going after me.”
I even thought the move to bring in Pujols was a bit confusing at the time.
However, the Dodgers know how to treat their players, especially the high-caliber ones. And, more times than not President Andrew Friedman knows what he is doing.
The Dodgers organization is a first class organization in all of sports and recognized that the former MVP had enough left in the tank.
Even though we didn’t accomplish the ultimate goal, Pujols made an impact that will last a lifetime to the people involved in the dugout and beyond and vice versa.