The crack. The gossip. The crescendo.
One swing eliminated eight years for a minute.
"I tried to go around the bases and get to the plate, trying to get into the shelter and hold on, man, that was hard, you know that? "Asked Albert Pujols. "Especially, you know? God is good. It is amazing.
He said he had run, but he was really running, and his powerful legs moving through the home races were more familiar to him than any other batsheep Busch Stadium III has ever known.
Once the ball has fallen We knew he had left his bat. His hands came together at this short celebration. Fans stepped to their feet. He thanked God in his head, and then he huddled, remembering to enjoy the sound.
Yadier Molina teased him as he crossed the plate, the "little brother" playfully kicked dirt at his feet.
The cardinals in the field, who do not know the thrill of playing with Pujols but were taught to honor his heritage, stood respectfully in their positions.
"He deserves this special moment," said shortstop Paul DeJong.
Mike Trout, the game's best player, a title that Pujols once held, bear-hugged Pujols at the top of the visitors' field. "That's great!" Cried Trout.
Dan McLaughlins voice boomed from the TV booth. "He gave us 1
On the radio side, Mike Shannon fought tears and was not alone.
"Probably the most special thing I've ever heard," Deidre Pujols said after her husband's home run in the seventh inning turned back and froze for a moment.
Prepare a new spot on your shelf with memories of Albert Pujols.
This one up here is part of the spring training explosion that put Pujols into orbit via Disney when he was released in 2001 Homerun derailing Brad Lidge, making his way into the team The three-homer game at Wrigley Field (and the other in the World Series) with its "Buddy Walk Day" heroics, with all the loud, tingling and vocal beats inspired he listens to cardinal fans 463 times between regular and postseason games, and every list of his best homeruns is different Saturday is for everyone
"This moment, and I'm pretty sure d If it gets even better tomorrow, it will be up there for me, "he said. "For my career. For my family, my wife, Deidre and my five children and my friends and family who are here in the city. It's just a moment that I'll appreciate. Forever.
In the second game of his first series in St Louis as a visitor, the 39-year-old Angel hooked up a Dakota Hudson board and threw it against the back of the Bullpen's Angels-a-doubt, 408-foot solo Homer , The man who once rescued Busch Stadium II from a wrecking ball has triggered his replacement earthquake for the good of the old days. The reunion rocked officially.
It was the career home race No. 646. Its 111th in this stadium. His second against the Cardinals as opponents. His first opponent here, under the bow and a fan base that loved him, lost him and flooded the stadium to celebrate his long-awaited return. And boy, did you celebrate?
"I'm not sure I really have that," said Angels manager Brad Ausmus when asked if he'd ever seen a curtain for a visiting player.
A press poll showed that it only happened once here in St. Louis. Type of. A crowd at Busch Stadium II cheered Ken Griffey Jr.'s 500th home game on Father's Day 2004 for so long and so loudly that Griffey Jr. stopped on his way to the dugout and raised his Reds helmet to say thank you.
Pujols was already in the shelter.
The sound pulled him back.
He realized that they would not stop until he showed up, his eyes full of emotions that he tried and that he could not hide.
"That's why I came out right away," he said. "Because I knew it. I knew that they would wait for it. Just a special moment.
This weekend, when Sunday's game is still pending, was a series of surreal events. Baseball values nothing but respecting the game. But baseball is a hopeless romantic, though he tries to cover it up with pine tar and tobacco skewer. No one will remember that the Cardinals won the match 4-2 on Saturday. We'll all remember that Molina made long, slow turns in front of the plate before each Pujols hit to have more time for standing ovations. We'll remember how Pujols has risen countless times in eleven seasons as a three-time MVP, nine-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion.
We will remember being reminded of his rare combination of grace and power. We'll remember the best baseball fans who prove their often mocking title is true. We'll remember wondering what it would have been like if each of his milestones in the Hall of Fame had been celebrated here. We will remember that this series, especially this homerun, seemed to heal all the wounds that had remained after the 2011 divorce.
Molina is no longer small. Pujols is now looking forward to her buddies telling their future grandchildren about their baseball adventures.
Pujols is no longer the best right-handed player in baseball. This home run was his 13th of the season. This season could be his third consecutive year without 30.
The Cardinals are no longer a post-season guarantee. But as Trout Pujols said, these last two games felt worthy of October.
"I lived here for 11 years," Pujols replied.
And at least a minute longer.