Daily Sports Smile: St. Louis Cardinals honor legends during last regular-season home game




Oct 2, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) and first baseman Albert Pujols (5) walk off the field together after all three were removed from the game during the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 2, 2022; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) and first baseman Albert Pujols (5) walk off the field together after all three were removed from the game during the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports  

Three St. Louis Cardinals legends received a special ovation during their last regular-season home game at Busch Stadium.

Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright were removed from Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the same time. Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol embraced each player before they departed. Fans gave a standing ovation as the trio walked off the field together.

Each player has more than a decade of playing experience with the Cardinals. Molina (19 years), Wainwright (17) and Pujols (12) have appeared in a combined 5,755 games with St. Louis and each will be in strong consideration for the National Baseball Hall of Fame when eligible.

It was a special moment for Cardinals fans to witness Pujols, Molina and Wainwright on the field for the last time during the regular season. Both Pujols, 42, and Molina, 40, will retire at the end of the season. Wainwright, 41, remains undecided on a 2023 return.

Pujols especially has put on a show for Cardinals fans this season. After leaving St. Louis following the 2011 season, the three-time MVP returned to the Cardinals this season and became the fourth player in history to hit 700 home runs. He has since raised the tally to 702.

RELATED: 'The Dodgers believed in me': Nothing but love as Albert Pujols joins 700 club vs. former team

The Cardinals already clinched the NL Central and an automatic playoff berth, but Sunday afforded St. Louis fans an opportunity to honor three longtime players before the intensity of the postseason begins later this month.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cardinals honor Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright

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