Do you ever think about living through events that might eventually appear in our children’s history textbooks? Albert Pujols appeared in my middle school history textbook wearing a St. Louis Cardinals jersey in a section about modern day legends. The 42-year-old’s career stands on its last legs. However, Major League Baseball is making sure the first baseman receives a hero’s sendoff.
The Athletic reports Pujols will participate in next week’s Home Run Derby with a plethora of younger sluggers. The event takes place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 18 – the night before MLB’s All-Star Game.
The longtime St. Louis Cardinal, who also spent 10 years with the Angels, also received an invitation to the mid-summer classic with Detroit Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera. With both players expected to retire at the season’s end, their participation comes by way of a special invitation from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
The derby marks the fifth appearance for Pujols in the contest and his first since 2015. The slugger has never won the event. However, Albert Pujols likely matches up with reigning two-time champion New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso. Alonso boasts 131 dingers in the last two contests and has already racked up 23 homers this season.
Pujols hasn’t hit 23 homers in an entire season since he tallied the same mark in 2019 and 2017. Twenty-three home runs ago was the 42-year-old’s final blast in an Angels uniform in 2020. But it’s purely for the love, excitement and growth of the game. Pujols isn’t deserving of a spot, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find me plopped on the couch watching next Monday night.
Albert Pujols’ Invitation Bringing Memes Aplenty Upon Announcement
FanDuel Sportsbook’s official Twitter page immediately cracked a joke about the age disparity between expected contestants:
However, one traumatized Cubs fan stole the show with a tweet referencing the difference in power and stamina between Pujols and Alonso:
A disgruntles Angels fan highlights Pujols’ recent struggles with video evidence:
Aside from the comedy, MLB.com’s Sarah Langs points out the history indicated by this news; Pujols becomes the contest’s oldest participant ever.