Matt Holliday has taken the reigns from Albert Pujols in more ways than one for the St. Louis Cardinals, including becoming the host for Pujols' charity golf tournament. However, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, Pujols and former manager Tony La Russa still dropped by and showed their support Monday.
A 2011 World Series reunion of sorts commenced at what is now called the Matt Holliday Celebrity Golf Classic at the Country Club of St. Albans, which for the past nine years has benefitted the Pujols Family Foundation. The now-Angels slugger made a planned but unannounced appearance. When Pujols left over the winter for Los Angeles, Holliday became the headliner.
Holliday, who also took over the No. 3 spot in the Cardinals' lineup from Pujols this season, had no trouble pinch-hitting for the event.
"Using our name and having a chance to have a platform to help some people and help raise money for charitable organizations," Holliday said. "I'm not looking for any extra credit. I'm just trying to help. We felt like this was an easy fit for us."
Cardinals players and more than 200 others participated in the event, including La Russa and former bench coach Joe Pettini. Pujols' return was the first time many of his former teammates had seen him since he left via free agency.
"St. Louis is going to be in our heart forever," Pujols said. "I believe that this (tournament) is something to show people we're not going anywhere (with the foundation). I'm wearing a different uniform, playing in a different city, but still the passion that I have isn't going to change."