Cardinals fans salute Angels star Pujols in return to St. Louis

first_imgLos Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) is greeted by a standing ovation before his first at-bat during the first inning a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Friday, June 21, 2019, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)ST. Louis — The cheers for Albert Pujols lasted much longer than his at-bat.It had been almost eight years in the making, but Albert Pujols returned to the Busch Stadium on Friday night and was greeted by a raucous standing ovation that carried on for over a minute.ADVERTISEMENT Solon urges Solgen to reconsider quo warranto petition vs ABS-CBN Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Rio’s unsafe Olympic Park ordered closed by Brazilian judge Pujols spent the first 11 years of his All-Star career with the Cardinals before signing with the Los Angeles Angels after the 2011 season. Due to inconsistent interleague scheduling, this was the first time the Angels have visited St. Louis since Pujols left.During the ovation, Pujols and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina — whom he refers to as his little brother — embraced in the first inning. Before stepping in, Pujols tipped his helmet, sending the crowd noise to another level.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Dwane Casey says it was ‘exciting’ to see Raptors win title Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? 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Not only in baseball, we saw that in football and in hockey with the Blues winning, it’s just a great city to play sports in.” “The 11 years, the success I had here, nine playoffs, two World Series, best fans in baseball,” Pujols said. “I use the term that I came here as a little boy and I left as a really strong and big man, a grown man.”Pujols will forever have a special place in the history-rich lore of the Cardinals.He came out of nowhere, drafted in the 13th round in 1999, to become the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year. Pujols hit .328 with 455 doubles, 445 home runs and 1,329 RBI in 1705 games with the Cardinals.Pujols was a three-time National League MVP, nine-time All-Star, a six-time Silver Slugger and a two-time Gold Glove winner. Pujols led the Cardinals to championships in 2006 and 2011 and to another World Series appearance in 2004.“What Albert did for the city, he deserves it,” Molina said of the ovation.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ The cheers faded as quickly as the at-bat, in which Pujols flied out to deep center field on Michael Wacha’s first pitch. Wacha was drafted by the Cardinals as compensation for Pujols signing a $254 million, 10-year contract with the Angels as a free agent.The 39-year-old Pujols was reflective as he prepared to take the field for the first time since celebrating the 2011 World Series championship after helping St. Louis defeat the Texas Rangers in seven games. 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