Before the 2022 season, Albert Pujols announced that it would be his last as a big leaguer. Pujols, who spent most of the 2021 season with the Dodgers, signed to spend his last year with the Cardinals, the team he spent his first 11 seasons with.
Pujols had a better year than anyone could have hoped for, batting .270 with an .895 OPS in part-time duty. He hit his 700th homer off Phil Bickford at Dodger Stadium in September and finished the year with 703 career homers, fourth-most in major-league history behind Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth.
Albert’s success in 2022 had some people thinking he might come back for another year, at least to take a crack at passing Ruth’s 714 career homers. But Pujols, true to his word, is done as a big league ballplayer.
RETIRED: 1B Albert Pujols has officially retired from MLB. After 22 seasons he has a career batting line of: .296, 703 HR's and 2,218 RBIs. He's an 11 time All-Star, the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award winner, the 2003 NL Batting Title winner, a two-time Hank Aaron Award winner,
— MLB Transaction Tracker (@MLBMovesTracker) November 1, 2022
That tweet is the first of four in that thread, because Pujols had a career that can’t be summed up in one tweet. Baseball-Reference still has him as an active player, so we can still see the italics on his career numbers for the categories in which he’s the active career leader. Games, plate appearances, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, homers, RBIs, walks, total bases, sacrifice flies, and intentional walks — they’re all italicized. (GIDP is also italicized and in gold, because his 426 double plays are the most in baseball history, but we don’t need to talk about that in a celebration post.)
Pujols won three MVP Awards and very easily could have won more. Twice he finished second behind Bonds, and you might have heard a few stories about different things that might have contributed to Bonds’ success. Albert finished second two other times, too, and both times, he had a higher WAR than the guy who beat him (Ryan Howard in 2006, Joey Votto in 2010).
Pujols had an outstanding career and will sail into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. We were lucky as fans to get him in Dodger blue for one season. Congratulations on a great career, Tio!
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