Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa reunited on Thursday during the Opening Day contest between the Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox.
The 2021 season will be the last for Albert Pujols as a member of the Los Angeles Angels, as he is set to hit free agency at year’s end. With the veteran first baseman entering his age 41 season, the Angels are hoping they can clinch a postseason berth for the first time since 2014. But, Pujols’ Opening Day was rather special.
Prior to Thursday’s game between the Angels and the Chicago White Sox, Pujols reunited with Tony La Russa, his former manager during his St. Louis Cardinals playing days. The two embraced at home plate before the first pitch of the game.
Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa reunite during Thursday’s Chicago White Sox-Los Angeles Angels game
While the two did catch up during spring training this year, this is the first official game involving Pujols and La Russa since Game 7 of the 2011 World Series. Of course, that was when the Cardinals completed their ridiculous comeback over the Texas Rangers to win their second World Series title together. Following that huge win, La Russa announced his retirement from managing and Pujols signed a massive 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels.
During their 11 seasons together from 2001 and 2011, the duo won five NL Central titles, three NL pennants and the aforementioned two Commissioners Trophies.
Nearly a decade after his retirement and following a Baseball Hall of Fame induction in 2014, La Russa agreed to become the manager of the White Sox after the team parted ways with Rick Renteria. La Russa had previously served as the White Sox manager from 1979 until 1986, where he held a 522-510 overall record.
As mentioned earlier, Pujols is set to become a free agent at season’s end, but many are speculating whether he will continue his professional baseball career or if he will retire. Pujols is coming off a 2020 campaign where he slashed .224/.270/.395 while recording six home runs, 28 RBI and 34 hits in 39 games.
Who would have thought that Cardinals fans would be hit right in the feels during a White Sox-Angels game? Well, it happened.