ST. LOUIS – We’ve reached the final day in the regular season careers of St. Louis Cardinals legends Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina.
Pujols and Molina will wrap up their lengthy and dominant MLB careers when their upcoming 2022 postseason run comes to an end. In nine seasons as teammates, from 2004 to 2011 and in 2022, the two shattered baseball records and won two World Series titles together.
The St. Louis Cardinals honored Pujols and Molina in a pregame ceremony Sunday and offered many unique items to celebrate their careers. Many MLB opponents have followed up with parting gifts at some point throughout the 2022 MLB season.
Here’s a closer look at what many teams, including the St. Louis Cardinals, offered Pujols and Molina as parting gifts this season.
St. Louis Cardinals
In addition to an hour-long pregame ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 2 before their final regular season home game, the Cardinals celebrated with careers of Pujols and Molina with…
- Proclamations, on behalf of the City of St. Louis, to recognize Yadier Molina Day and Albert Pujols Day on Oct. 4 and Oct. 5 respectively.
- Silver plaques and giant customs canvas paintings
- Giant “thank you” cards signed by Cardinals fans ahead of final weekend series
- New golf clubs (to complement a previous gift)
The Pirates offer custom-made art on bases to Pujols and Molina on Tuesday, shortly before the penultimate regular season game of their careers.
Ahead of their final game at Wrigley Field to cap a five-game road series in August, Chicago held a pregame ceremony and offered classic scoreboard panels of Pujols’ and Molina’s uniform numbers, 5 and 4.
Like Chicago, the division-rival Reds held a pregame ceremony before the duo’s final game at Great American ballpark. Injured Reds star Joey Votto presented Pujols and Molina with personalized baseball bats.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Perhaps a bit overshadowed on a night Pujols hit his 699th and 700th home run, the Dodgers gave fancy golf bags to Pujols and Molina. The Pujols one had Cardinals, Angels and Dodgers logos to commemorate his time with all three teams.
San Diego Padres
Perhaps the most one-of-a-kind gift of them all, the San Diego Padres created personalized surfboards with Pujols and Molina images on them. Padres third baseman Manny Machado was perhaps a catalyst in the farewell tour gifts, expressing in June via FOX Sports, “It’s kind of [expletive] that teams aren’t giving him a farewell tour… Albert has been the best player in our generation.”
The Nationals were one of the first teams that started giving gifts and they gave plenty. That included frames with photos of their top moments at Nationals Park, smothered by signatures around the photos. Pujols also received an American flag and two No. 5 seats to commemorate his 400th and 500th career home runs at the ballpark.
Boston Red Sox
Despite defeating Pujols once and Molina twice in World Series action, the Red Sox paid a friendly gesture toward the soon-to-be retirees. One of their top players, David Ortiz, greeted Pujols with a huge hug in a pregame ceremony. Pujols also received a No. 5 placard from the Green Monster and also accepted a No. 4 for the then-injured Molina.
Many other opponents, including the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays, all held pregame ceremonies in Cardinals road games throughout the season to recognize the accomplishments of Pujols and Molina.