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Cardinals' Albert Pujols Says He Still Plans to Retire After Season amid 700-HR Chase

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 21, 2022

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Albert Pujols is getting closer to the 700-home run milestone, but the St. Louis Cardinals veteran doesn't plan to come back for another season if he falls short.

"I'm still going to retire, no matter whether I end up hitting 693, 696, 700, whatever," Pujols told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "I don't get caught up in numbers. If you were going to tell me 22 years ago that I would be this close, I would have told you that you're freakin' crazy. My career has been amazing."

Pujols hit two home runs Saturday during a 4-for-4 day against the Arizona Diamondbacks to give him 692 for his career. He now has five home runs in his last five games and six in August after totaling just seven in the first four months of the season.

The 42-year-old sits four shy of Alex Rodriguez for fourth in major league history.

If he can pass A-Rod, the next step would be becoming the fourth player ever with 700 home runs, joining Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

Pujols signed with the Cardinals on a one-year deal this offseason, returning to the team where he played the first 11 years of his career before leaving in free agency after the 2011 season for the Los Angeles Angels. He announced in March that this season would be his last.

"This is it for me. This is my last run," he said.

The slugger reiterated his intent to retire on Saturday, despite a quick joke about his recent success.

"If I can't hit 70 homers, I'm not coming back," Pujols said. "No, I've had enough. I'm glad I made the announcement this was it when I signed. Really, I wouldn't change a thing."

For those counting at home, the Cardinals have 43 regular-season games remaining.

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