ANAHEIM, Calif. — One of baseball's all-time greats could be ready for a curtain call.
Former Cardinals first baseman and current Angels first baseman/designated hitter Albert Pujols' wife, Deidre, posted on Instagram Monday night that 2021 could be her husband's final year in the Majors.
Deidre later clarified in an Instagram story that her original post was not an official retirement announcement.
"Today is the first day of the last season of one of the most remarkable careers in sports! I’m talking about my husband @albertpujols who since the time he was a child would eat, sleep, and breath this sport. I have had the privilege to walk out 23 years of this baseball journey and it is with such a full heart that I speak a blessing over him as he finishes this good race! I’ve never known anyone more dedicated, disciplined and consistent than Albert. He has loved the game, he has hurt for the game, and he made sacrifices for this game as if it was his own child. He has grown from just a zealous young man into a confident leader who so many look up to," Deidre posted on Instagram. "We by no means are perfect and he is definitely not a machine as so many have called him but he has given all he had to make sure we all had a victory to experience with him on the field. Albert says he doesn’t want to be known for what he did on the field but rather who he was off the field...today I will celebrate both! God isn’t finished with you yet my love and as you finish out this last season I know already prepared for you is another journey full of goodness waiting just for you! Thank you for 21 years of incredible baseball thrills! Finish strong like the Angel you are and I know you will wow us all this 2021 season as usual"
USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported on Twitter Monday night that Pujols is still undecided on playing past 2021 and will "play it by ear".
The Cardinals drafted Pujols in the 13th round of the 1999 MLB Draft, and it didn't take him long to become a superstar.
Pujols won the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year Award, and hit 445 home runs during his time in St. Louis while winning three MVP Awards and two World Series titles.
Following the 2011 season, Pujols signed a 10-year contract with the Angels, which expires after the 2021 season.
Pujols' 662 career home runs rank fifth most all-time in baseball history.