image credit - Albert Pujols

Maybe all he required was a welcome home.   After a decade away, Albert Pujols returned to the St. Louis Cardinals, where he played his first 11 seasons, and declared in March that he believed he was there for a reason.

image credit - Albert Pujols

They think I still have it in me to play this game, and they think I can help this team win a championship.

image credit - Albert Pujols

Pujols was correct that he would still be eligible to participate, even though the championship aspect is still up in the air (the Cardinals have a 3% chance of winning it all, per the FiveThirtyEight prediction).

image credit - Albert Pujols

He is indeed 42 years old, almost twice as old as some of his teammates, and he said before the season that 2022 would be his last.

image credit - Albert Pujols

Then there are the more obvious achievements Pujols has been compiling, like overtaking Stan Musial to move up to No. 2 on the list of all-time total bases or his attempt to overtake Lex Rodriguez to become just the fourth player to hit 700 home runs in baseball history.

image credit - Albert Pujols

There are also the memorable moments Pujols has produced this season, not the least of which was his Cinderella run to the home run derby quarterfinal in July, where he narrowly lost to Juan Soto, the ultimate victor and a fellow Dominican.

image credit - Albert Pujols

The fact that Pujols' final season has been so characteristically Pujols is what is most amazing.

image credit - Albert Pujols

No, his batting average (.273) has dropped from its previous level (.297 for his career). 

image credit - Albert Pujols

Surprisingly, Pujols's OPS+ for this season (146) is a little better than it was for his whole career (144), indicating one of the best combinations of power and patience in the history of the game. 

image credit - Albert Pujols

 Pujols's OPS+ this season places him sixth among batters with at least 200 plate appearances in a season and is the highest among 42-year-olds.