Wednesday, June 7

Albert Pujols gives heartfelt speech to NL ahead of All-Star Game

LOS ANGELES — It’s been an Albert Pujols celebration during All-Star week in Los Angeles. And just before the actual All-Star Game on Tuesday, Pujols showed his appreciation for him.

Pujols stood up in the National League clubhouse to address his teammates ahead of the 11th and final All-Star Game of his Hall of Fame career.

“For me, it’s an honor to be here. And just looking around, my last year of my career, it has been an amazing career. First I want to thank God, because if it wouldn’t be for him I wouldn’t be standing here today. For the platform, talent and ability he has given me. The ability he has given every single one here. So for me it’s an honor just to look around, guys I’ve competed against and guys I’m going to continue to compete against in the second half. But I think the most I take out of this is how we come together for two days. We compete during the course of the season, but we come together for two days and have fun, enjoy just talking. My last year just being here in the All-Star Game and seeing future Hall of Famers, and managers of the year and championship players… And the the young talent there is in this game. 22 freaking years in this game is a long time for myself. I think it’s time to walk out. But it’s just a true honor to be here and I’m enjoying every single moment, ev ery single minute of this over the last couple of days. Obviously tomorrow we’re going to wake up and go on our way, but thank you so much, guys. Thank you so much for the memories. Yesterday was really special to me. Somebody asked me, ‘What do you think about that moment yesterday when the players came over and embraced you?’ To me it’s probably going to be one of the top moments of my career. And I’m serious, guys. 22 years in this game and yesterday was really emotional. I had to hold it in because I had to go out there as a player to compete and try to win the Home Run Derby. But thank you to Soto, I thought he was going to give me a break. Congrats, bro. But I’m just happy my boy from the DR won. So, just thank you guys. As you know we’re going to go out there and have fun, the All-Star Game is about having fun. Enjoy it. But remember that jersey that you represent. Who you represent when you take that field. Don’t take anything for granted. Play the game hard. And let’s go kick some butt. Let’s go get a win and try to enjoy it. So thank you so much guys, I wish you all the best in the second half except when you play against the Cardinals. So God bless you guys and thank you so much. It means a lot,” Pujols said.

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Pujols did have a special Monday night, as he pulled off a first-round upset in the Home Run Derby before falling to the eventual champion Juan Soto in the semifinals.

Pujols has the fifth-most home runs in the history of baseball, is a 3-time MVP and 2-time World Series champion with the Cardinals.

The future first-ballot Hall of Famer was added to the NL All-Star roster for 2022 as a legacy selection from the commissioner’s office. Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera was the special selection for the American League.

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