MILWAUKEE – Just when you think the Albert Pujols retirement tour couldn’t add much more, think again. The St. Louis Cardinals legend sparked the action-packed celebrations Tuesday evening as his longtime club punched a ticket to the postseason as the 2022 National League Central Division champions.
In an epic sendoff season, Pujols has not only reached the exclusive 700-home run milestone, but has also enjoyed the Home Run Derby, MLB All-Star festivities and his first professional appearance as a pitcher. He will now make the postseason for the eighth time in 12 seasons with the Cardinals.
Pujols soaked in another fine moment of his final ride Tuesday. Before the champagne celebrations to mark his final Red October, he gave a heartfelt speech to his coaches and teammates.
“Remember this moment. This is what we want to do deep into October,” Pujols said addressing the team before the celebration. “This is what we play for, let’s win a championship this year.
While enjoying the big moment, Pujols had the chance to catch up with FOX 2’s Martin Kilcoyne and answer a few questions on his journey to another Red October.
Martin: This is why you came back? You said this in March, didn’t you?
Pujols: “It’s a great feeling. This is just one step to our mission we want to have, and that’s winning a championship for the city of St. Louis.”
Martin: How sweet is this moment with longtime teammates Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright?
Pujols: “It’s pretty special to be back with my brothers. Guys that really admire the way we go about it. We have great memories of winning championships. To finish my career here, in this city and try to win a championship, that’s what it’s all about.”
Martin: If I told you a year ago, you’d end up with the Cardinals and be popping champagne, would you believe that?
“As long as you’re in this game, you have to believe in yourself. God really opened this opportunity. Yeah, it took a little while, one week left into spring training, but Oli made that call, they believed I could help this organization win and bring leadership here. That trust is huge, the trust that I can do that. I’m glad I have the opportunity to be here and help this ballclub have this experience.
Martin: To the fans in St. Louis, what has this year maeant to you, to feel that embrace?
“Pretty special. It’s going to be very emotional this weekend knowing that I’m going to play in my last regular season at Busch. It’s going to be a great weekend. I try to enjoy every single moment. That’s what I’ve been doing all year long. Whether I’m playing, whether I’m not, I try to enjoy every moment.”