Albert Pujols is a bane to the existence of many Cubs fans. However, the St. Louis Cardinals legend is finally hanging up his cleats one final time from The Friendly Confines.
The Cub-killer has crushed nearly 60 home runs in his MLB career against his divisional foe. But if you ask any die-hard Cubs fan, that tally feels like too little of a chunk of his 693 career blasts.
However, even in Pujols’ farewell tour, and while the Cubs dwell amongst the bottom of the division, Wrigley Field puts together a healthy crows in the middle of August during the day. Pujols crushed a monster blast in a 1-0 victory on Monday night.
While he lacks the power he once possessed earlier in his career, smashing the lone run into the Budweiser Bleachers served as a brutal reminder of the former first baseman’s capabilities. But one special moment on Wednesday night provided a glimpse at the character Pujols still represents to the game of baseball.
With a young fan hoisting a sign requesting a jersey-swap with the legend, upon the Cubs’ victory, Pujols removed the jersey from his own back, sliding the memorabilia and memory underneath the protective netting to the kid.
Luckily, another Cardinals fan captured the moment on camera. It’s a feel-good story for the baseball community and an important reminder of why identifying proper role models in professional sports matters.
And while not every wish for a game-worn jersey is a possibility, it makes a superstar like Pujols an approachable athlete. The moment becomes a cherished memory for this youngster, Cardinals fans and all baseball fans – including Cubs fans like myself.
Cubs Pay Tribute to Retiring Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina on Thursday
Much to the chagrin of Cubs fans, the team honored two St. Louis legends in the Cardinals’ final trip to Wrigley in 2022. In addition to a social post in jest, the club presented Pujols and catcher Yadier Molina with squares from the iconic manual scoreboard in centerfield.
Some fans compared the tribute to a hypothetical situation where the Bears memorialize the career of Aaron Rodgers upon his retirement from the NFL. Others noted that the club treats rivals better than former legends like Sammy Sosa.
But at the end of the day, Cubs fans should enjoy winning the small battles. The team will never face two of the most brutal team-killers in recent franchise history at Wrigley Field again. It’s a good day for Cubs fans regardless of record. But an even better year for the young fan with an incredibly valuable jersey to hang up at home.