Ever since Albert Pujols signed with the LA Angels, it has been assumed that The Machine would go into the Hall of Fame as a St. Louis Cardinal, the team he spent the majority of his career with and had more success.
It is safe to say Albert Pujols will never win three Most Valuable Player awards with the LA Angels, as he did with the Cardinals. And while miracles do happen, he also won’t likely go on to win two World Series with the Angels before his contract expires after 2021.
However, when it comes to which hat Pujols is inducted into the Hall of Fame wearing, there could be more of a debate than originally thought. In an interview with ESPN released on Sunday, Albert Pujols noted that his departure from the Cardinals was not a happy one, and he was overall disappointed by how the team handled to negotiations, or lack thereof.
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While Pujols has never shown any public distaste for the Cardinals, it seems that, after reading the interview, he did not leave with a particularly good taste in his mouth. Despite having so much history with the organization, the way he was treated at the end obviously rubbed The Machine the wrong way.
That being said, does this make it a possibility that Pujols joins Vladimir Guerrero, who was a perfect first member, as the only members of the Hall of Fame to be inducted wearing an Angels cap? Before this story was released, a one-day contract with the Cardinals and being inducted as a Cardinal seemed to be inevitable, but now maybe not.
“I felt that the approach that they took wasn’t showing me that they wanted me to be a longtime Cardinal,” Pujols said, adding, “I believe I made the right decision.”
According to the poll below, Halo fans aren’t entirely sold on the idea of Pujols going into the Hall as an Angel. While only the minority believe it would make the albatross of a contract worth it, a large portion feel it wouldn’t make the contract any better. This was surprising, considering Guerrero is the only HoFer for the Angels, and Pujols is their best bet for a player to go in until Mike Trout is eligible.
In the end, all of this might not matter. The Hall of Fame Committee chooses which team any player represents when they are inducted. For Pujols, his best years were in St. Louis while all of his milestones came in Anaheim. If he has a preference, the Hall might just honor that, and give the Angels their second Hall of Fame player in the process.