Pujols to be Honored at AFL Opener

St. Louis Cardinals star first baseman Albert Pujols' jersey will be retired as part of the Arizona Fall League's opening night festivities on October 9.

The Arizona Fall League, known throughout professional baseball as a "graduate school" for Major League Baseball's elite prospects, begins its 16th season on Tuesday, October 9th with three games, highlighted by a special ceremony honoring Fall League alumnus and St. Louis Cardinals star first baseman Albert Pujols prior to the 7:05 p.m. contest (Peoria Saguaros @ Scottsdale Scorpions) at Scottsdale Stadium.

Pujols, the 2005 National League MVP, six-time all-star, and member of the Fall League Hall of Fame, will be on hand as his Scottsdale Scorpion jersey number 36 is retired and he is presented with a "Distinguished Alumni Award."

Pujols played in the 2000 Fall League on the eve of his spectacular Major League career. The following season, Pujols hit .329 with 37 home runs and 130 RBI for St. Louis en route to National League rookie-of-the-year honors. He since has become the only player in major-league history to hit 30 or more home runs in each of his first seven seasons. He also has posted seven consecutive 100-RBI seasons to begin his career.

"We are thrilled Albert will be joining us to launch the 2007 season," says Steve Cobb, who has served as executive director of the Arizona Fall League since 1993. "He was an outstanding player here in 2000 and he has distinguished himself in the major leagues as a perennial all-star."

The ceremony to honor Pujols will begin at 6:45 p.m. Earlier that afternoon, the Fall League begins its 2007 season with a pair of 12:35 p.m. day games. The Phoenix Desert Dogs begin seeking their fourth consecutive Fall League championship when they host the Mesa Solar Sox at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, and the renamed Surprise Rafters face the Peoria Javelinas at the Peoria Sports Complex.

Editor's note: Cardinals prospects Joe Mather, Mark Shorey, Jarrett Hoffpauir, Jason Motte, Kyle McClellan, Stuart Pomeranz and Mitchell Boggs will be members of the 2007 Solar Sox.

Mesa schedule link

Mesa roster link

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