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One of the greatest careers in baseball history is winding down. St. Louis Cardinals legend and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols is planning to retire after the season and will make one last run at a World Series championship this October, following a resurgent season that included his 700th career home run and an impressive .270/.345/.550 line.

As well as he performed this season, there was a point where it looked like Pujols was done as a major league contributor, so much so that he considered retiring in June, he told MLB.com. Pujols was hitting .198/294/.335 at the end of June when he contemplated walking away. Here's what he told MLB.com:

"No, I did, I swear I did [wonder why I chose to play in 2022]. There were some times when I [asked] myself that, many times."


"When you have good people around you and they are encouraging you and you realize that God has opened so many doors for you, man, it puts things back into perspective," Pujols said. "I decided, 'I'm going to stick with it!' I knew sooner or later it was going to come and turn around for me, because it can't be like it was all year long."

It wasn't until just before the All-Star break that Pujols got into a groove and went on the home run tear that led to No. 700. From July 10 through the end of the season, Pujols slashed .320/.384/.702 with 20 home runs in only 62 games, numbers on par with the very best stretches of his peak years. He forced his way into the everyday lineup after platooning against lefties early.

Pujols would not have been the first star player and future Hall of Famer to retire midseason. Ken Griffey Jr. hung up his spikes at age 38 on June 2, 2010, and Mike Schmidt retired at age 39 on May 28, 1989. That said, a midseason retirement is always shocking, and it would have been especially true with Pujols given how much he seemed to enjoy being a Cardinals again.

Now 42, Pujols has accomplished everything a player could dream of accomplishing in this game. He reached the hallowed 3,000 hits and 700 home runs milestones, won three MVPs, and won two World Series rings with 2006 and 2011 Cardinals. All that's left at this point is playing for love of the game and possibly another title.

"It's my last year and I want to go out with my best," Pujols told MLB.com. "And my best is winning a championship."