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After being told that Wander Franco wears No. 5 on the Tampa Bay Rays in honor of him, Albert Pujols took it as a sign that he needs to retire.
Albert Pujols made his return to the St. Louis Cardinals for the first time since he left following the team’s World Series-winning season in 2011. But, Pujols revealed that he is planning to retire after the 2022 season, bringing an end to a lengthy MLB career.
Pujols has been one of the more influential players in baseball. That was obvious when Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco revealed that he wears the No. 5 because in honor of Pujols, who he called his favorite player growing up. When informed about it by the media, the first baseman joked that it is a sign that “it’s time to go.”
Albert Pujols jokes that Wander Franco honoring him with jersey number means its time to retire
Even after making the joke, Pujols said that it meant a lot to him to find out that a younger player wears their jersey number in honor of him.
During his first stint with the Cardinals that lasted a total of 11 seasons, Pujols solidified his status as one of the top players in the entire National League. He won three NL MVP awards (2005, 2008-09), two World Series titles (2006, 2011), and six Silver Sluggers (2001, 2003-04, 2008-10), while making the All-Star team nine times.
This year, Pujols appeared in 31 games, where he is slashing .211/.324/.367 while recording four home runs, 15 RBI and 19 hits.
Meanwhile, Franco has recorded a .270 batting average, a .727 OPS, four home runs, 19 RBI, 27 runs scored and 48 hits through 45 games this season.
Pujols has played in the majors for 22 years, and he has influenced players like Franco, and he is honored that they would wear his uniform number as a way to pay their respects to him.