It looks as if the end might be near for one of Major League Baseball’s greatest players.
Los Angeles Angels’ slugger Albert Pujols, a future Hall of Famer, may be playing in his final MLB season in 2021, according to his wife Deidre Pujols.
The All-Star’s spouse shared an Instagram post with a lengthy caption on Monday evening.
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“THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF PUJOLS RETIREMENT IM JUST TRYING TO SEND MY HUSBAND WITH BLESSINGS INTO 2021 SEASON 😇🙏🏻!! Today is the first day of the last season (based on his contract) of one of the most remarkable careers in sports! I’m talking about my husband @albertpujols who since the time he was a child would eat, sleep, and breath this sport,” Deidre Pujols wrote. “I have had the privilege to walk out 23 years of this baseball journey and it is with such a full heart that I speak a blessing over him as he finishes this good race! I’ve never known anyone more dedicated, disciplined and consistent than Albert.
“He has loved the game, he has hurt for the game, and he made sacrifices for this game as if it was his own child. He has grown from just a zealous young man into a confident leader who so many look up to. We by no means are perfect and he is definitely not a machine as so many have called him but he has given all he had to make sure we all had a victory to experience with him on the field. Albert says he doesn’t want to be known for what he did on the field but rather who he was off the field…today I will celebrate both! God isn’t finished with you yet my love and as you finish out this season I know, already prepared for you is another journey full of goodness waiting on the other side.
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“Thank you for 21 years of incredible baseball thrills! Finish strong like the Angel you are and I know you will wow us all this 2021 season as usual! 700 we are coming after you 🙌🔥🎉#700homeruns #lastseason #baseball #mlb #baseballplayer #albertpujols #angelsbaseball.”
Her “#700homerun” hashtag refers to Pujols’ fifth-place ranking on MLB’s career home run list with 662. Alex Rodriguez is fourth with 696 home runs. The only players to ever hit 700 or more homers in a career are Barry Bonds, Henry Aaron and Babe Ruth.
USA TODAY Sports MLB columnist Bob Nightengale reported that Pujols says he remains undecided whether he will retire after the season. He will play it by ear and decide once the season is over.
Pujols, who spent the last nine years with the Angels, began his career with the St. Louis Cardinals, where he won two World Series championships in 2006 and 2011. For a long time, Pujols was one of the most feared hitters in all of baseball.
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Pujols won the NL Rookie of the Year in 2001 after crushing 37 home runs and driving in 130 RBI — which is still a career-best. He is a 10-time All-Star, who won MVPs in 2005, 2008, and 2009. Pujols won a batting title in 2003 and six Silver Slugger awards.
Pujols has a career slash line of .299/.377/.546 with 3,236 career hits, which ranks 15th all time.