Former Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols and his wife Deidre are offering their thanks and gratitude to the City of St. Louis and Cardinal Nation in a letter appearing on the back page of the Sports section in Friday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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Pujols, 31, was the National League's Rookie of the Year in 2001 and its Most Valuable Player in 2005, 2008 and 2009. The Cardinals made the playoffs in seven of Pujols' 11 seasons, winning World Series championships in 2006 and 2011. The team also appeared in the 2004 World Series.
The letter can be found below in its entirety:
To the City of St. Louis and Cardinal Nation,
I want to thank each and every one of you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for the love and support you have me and my family for the past 11 years. In my time with the Cardinals, I have been fortunate enough to play on championship teams, and in front of championship fans. This community has reached out and embraced me, and for that I am truly humbled and grateful.
My decision to leave has been incredibly difficult, and your support is the biggest reason why. While I am excited about this new chapter in my life, it was very important to me to let you know that St. Louis has been, and will always remain, in my heart. I have been honored to be able to wear the Cardinal uniform the last 11 seasons, and I want to thank the entire Cardinal organization, my teammates, coaches, managers and staff for everything they have given to me as well.
We call St. Louis home and my family and I are so blessed to have made lifelong relationships in St. Louis that we look forward to continuing for many years to come, and words cannot fully express our gratitude to you all.
Thank you and God bless,
Albert and Deidre