The tolelero Albert Pujols warned this Friday that he has no plans to end his successful career, when he is presented with his new team, the Leones del Escogido, with which he will play the Dominican winter league.
Pujols, 41, said at the opening ceremony that he promised to play in the Dominican Republic before retiring. “But don’t take me away!” He exclaimed jokingly.
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«I have to withdraw because someone says so or whenever I want. I think my time has not come, “said the slugger, clarifying that he will continue in professional competitions as long as he has physical conditions.
The legendary hitter, with two decades of the major leagues behind him, said he believes he will feel “like a child” because it was always a childhood dream to play in the Dominican championship.
“I always wanted to play for the fans, who have always supported me,” he said.
The leaders of the Lions of the Chosen One said that the date of the debut of the future member of the Hall of Fame of Cooperstown of the American Major Leagues has not yet been defined.
El Escogido announced the hiring of Pujols on Thursday, in an operation in which they had to trade reliever Edward Paredes and outfielder Melky Mesa to Gigantes del Cibao.
Asked about that operation, Pujols assured that he did not ask for the change of team.
In his 21-season career in the majors, Pujols has 679 home runs, 672 doubles, 3,301 hits and a .297 / .375 / .544 offensive line, statistics that certify him among the best hitters of all time; and his first 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals are among the most productive for any player in a similar period.
The 41-year-old first baseman and designated player, born in Santo Domingo, played this year with the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers, averaging .236, 17 home runs, 50 RBIs and .433 slugging in 109 games.
His award-winning career in the Major Leagues includes three Most Valuable Player awards, six Silver Bats, 10 All-Star selections, two Gold Gloves and two World Series rings, among other accolades.