Albert Pujols is appointed as manager of the Chosen team in the Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO.- Albert Pujols He will follow in the footsteps of Yadier Molina, his former teammate from the St. Louis Cardinals in Caribbean baseball.

The Leones del Esgido announced on Thursday the hiring of the retired slugger as their manager in the 2024 season of the professional baseball league of the Dominican Republic. It will be Pujols’ first experience as a leader.

“We feel honored to have someone of Pujols’ stature and quality for our purpose of raising a new crown of champions,” Lions president José Miguel Bonetti Du-Breil said in a statement. “He has all our trust and support.”

After retiring at the end of 2022, ending a 19-year career in the majors, Molina also managed in the Caribbean winter leagues, leading the Navegantes del Magallanes in Venezuela and later leading his native Puerto Rico in the Classic Baseball World Cup.

Pujols, 44, played 16 games with the Lions during the 2021-22 winter tournament prior to what was his final season in the Major Leagues with the Cardinals. El Esgido has won 16 Dominican league championships.

An idol in the Dominican Republic:

“We are beyond excited for him to take the reins of the Lions. His figure represents this organization very well and his presence will impact our players and the fans,” said Lions general manager Luis Rojas, former manager of the Mets and current third base coach of the Yankees in the majors. “He is “very excited to begin his managerial career with El Esgido and we hope that he will lead us to win the championship.”

Pujols hit 703 home runs in his career, placing him fourth in the all-time list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). His 2,218 RBIs left him second on the all-time list behind Aaron’s 2,297.

He hit .296 in a major league career from 2001-22 with the Los Angeles Cardinals, Angels and Dodgers. He also ranks in the top 10 in all-time hits with 3,384.