Picture the moment: Albert Pujols stepping to the plate as a pinch-hitter for the National League, the crowd at Dodger Stadium giving him a standing ovation, one final All-Star salute in his spectacular 22-year career.
The moment could happen at the All-Star Game in Los Angeles on July 19, thanks to a new clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and owners. The language, in fact, seems almost as if it was written for Pujols, who has announced he will retire at the end of the season, and perhaps Miguel Cabrera, who recorded his 3,000th hit on April 23.
“In addition to the 32 players elected and selected to the All-Star Game, the Commissioner may choose to add one player that he selects to each League’s roster, in recognition of each player’s career achievements,” the clause states, according to a source. “If special circumstances warrant, the Commissioner may select more than one player to each league’s roster.”
Pujols, 42, is an obvious choice to be added to the NL roster under the new provision, particularly with the game taking place in Los Angeles.