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Albert Pujols named to All-Star game as legacy selection in final season

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Pujols rescues victory from Padres with sacrifice fly in 10th

St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols is mobbed by teammates including Yadier Molina, right, after hitting a sacrifice fly to score Tommy Edman in the tenth inning against the San Diego Padres to win 3-2 on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 at Busch Stadium. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

Albert Pujols will return to southern California as an All-Star, but this time in a Cardinals uniform.

MLB announced Friday morning that the famed Cardinals slugger has been named to the 2022 All-Star game as a commissioner's choice. A new rule in MLB's collective bargaining agreement allows MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to select one player from each league as a legacy selection for their contributions to baseball.

Pujols will represent the National League, and fellow future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera will represent the American League. They are the first players to receive the honor.

Pujols won't be first All-Star to skirt the "Mendoza Line"

The selection is Pujols' 11th All-Star game nod and his ninth as a Cardinal. He said Thursday that if selected, he would attend the festivities at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles later this month. When asked about the possibility to be selected in his final season, Pujols said he would feel lucky to go. 

Pujols has hit four home runs so far this season and driven in 18 RBI in 45 games played. Now a specialist against left handed pitching, Pujols has a .290 batting average versus southpaws. 

In this 10 previous All-Star appearances, Pujols went 6-for-21 with two doubles and three RBI. In his most recent appearance in 2015, he went 0-1 with a walk and a run scored as a member of the American League. In 2010, his last appearance as a Cardinal, he went 0-2. Pujols has never hit a home run in the mid-summer classic. 

Pujols becomes the seventh Cardinal to appear in double digit All-Star games, joining teammate Yadier Molina (10), Joe Medwick (10), Red Schoendienst (10), Enos Slaughter (10), Ken Boyer (11), Ozzie Smith (14), and Stan Musial (24). 

The 2022 All-Star game takes place July 19 in Los Angeles.

Derrick Goold contributed to this report. 

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