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Albert Pujols’s return to St. Louis was everything we hoped it would be - A Hunt and Peck

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Beautiful closure.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In the summer of 2009 The Hangover hit the box office. It was an immediate success. The film made over $467 million and became the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. It received high praise from critics as well; Roger Ebert gave it 3.5 of 4 stars. It won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. From its release in 2009, people have been quoting jokes from it. People loved this movie — they stanned it, to borrow a term from the youths. For years I hadn’t seen it and people were shocked. It is so funny they would tell me, You will love it. Finally I sat down to watch it, excited from all the hype.

It was... fine.

It could have just been me. Maybe I never would have loved it, but honestly, I think people oversold it to the point there was no way it could have lived up to it. It was just a movie, after all.

I tell you all that because it is relevant to Albert Pujols’s return to St. Louis. Since he left for Los Angeles in 2011, Cardinals fans have been waiting for this day, champing at the bit to see the legend in Busch Stadium again. After seven seasons the 2019 schedule was announced and finally the Angels would visit the 3-1-4. Since that announcement media and fans alike have been preparing. The weeks leading up to the visit consisted of almost non-stop Pujols return discussion. There was almost no way the weekend would be able to live up to the level of hype. I was preparing for another Hangover.

But then it was lovely — more than lovely, it was wonderful. The Cardinals won two of three, Albert Pujols started every game, and he even hit a home run in a perfect, low leverage situation. Everything just fell into place for St. Louis to shower its once absent son with gratitude. It was a weekend of closure. St. Louis never really got to say goodbye. Now, after seven seasons, we finally could.

The weekend was everything Cardinals fans had hoped for and maybe even a little bit more.

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