Albert Pujols is back in St. Louis, nearly eight years after celebrating a World Series crown in the city that made him famous.
Pujols has accomplished a lot during his time with the Angels, with whom he signed after 11 seasons with the Cardinals. He has had three 30-homer seasons. He has driven in 100 or more runs four times. He has reached historic career milestones -- 3,000 hits, 500 and 600 homers, 2,000 RBIs. But he had never been back to Busch Stadium.
That is, until Friday, when Pujols' Angels began their first interleague series in St. Louis since he left.
"Just pretty amazing," Pujols said. "That'll show you why they are the best fans in baseball. I'm just glad to be able to play here for 11 years, have the great memories."
In his first at-bat, the ovation lasted about 1 minute and 20 seconds, and Pujols tipped his helmet to the crowd, pointed to the Cardinals' dugout and hugged catcher Yadier Molina, one of his best friends and one of two remaining teammates from his St. Louis days.