For nearly two decades, both players led the iconic organization. Molina spent 19 years as the heart and soul of the Cardinals. The MLB ironman is a 10-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove recipient. Pujols spent 12 years in St. Louis and won three National League MVPs in his tenure.
Forever a Cardinals icon.— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) October 9, 2022
Thank you for 19 incredible seasons wearing the Birds on the Bat. pic.twitter.com/HE5VGWwFZC
The Cardinals fell short against the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Wild Card Series, ending both players’ careers. The Phillies advanced to play the Atlanta Braves in the NL Divisional Series.
Several players also praised Molina and Pujols after the series.
“Sad to see two legends go,” Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright told USA TODAY Sports reporter Bob Nightengale. “I don’t know if we’ll see a catcher like him again. I don’t know if we’ll see 700 again. It’s been a blessing and pleasure for me to be a teammate.”
Wainwright spent many years alongside Molina and Pujols. The trio won the 2006 World Series together and paved the way for the current generation of St. Louis superstars. Wainwright and Molina also set the league record for most starts a pitcher-catcher duo.
“There’s nothing to be sad about,” Pujols told reporters. “I tried my best. There’s nothing I should feel sorry for. I closed that chapter of my life and will enjoy the next chapter of my life too. I’m sure it will be fun.”
“We got some great talent here,” Molina said. “They’re going to be in this situation for many years, I guarantee that. Hopefully, they can win it all.”
Both Pujols and Molina are ticketed for the MLB Hall of Fame. For now, they will be celebrated for special careers spanning a combined 41 years.