If you go to Albert Pujols' Baseball Reference page, it will tell you that he was born on January 16, 1980. But former Marlins president David Samson said in an interview on the Dan Le Batard Show that's not true and everyone in baseball knows it.
Sporting News — "We knew when we did the calculations for that deal that we didn’t care about 2019, '20 or '21. It was so far in the future that it didn’t matter,” Samson said. "We knew he’d be unproductive, we knew that he was not the age that he said he was. We had all the information."
Le Batard responded, "Did you just report flatly that Pujols is older than he’s always claimed to be?"
Samson said, "There is not one person in baseball, not one executive, who believes Albert Pujols is the age that he says he is. The amount of fraud that was going on in the Dominican back in the day, the changing of names, the changing of birthdays, it would blow your mind."
This was certainly news to me — as I'm sure it was to almost everyone else — but what's even crazier is that Pujols may have accidentally admitted this himself several years ago.
As for Pujols, Samson didn't give the age he thought the baseball star truly was, but there is some history using Pujols' own words. Many people took notice in a 2018 interview with Yahoo Sports when Pujols may have revealed his true age.
"I actually hit it off Octavio Dotel, I think I told you that. I was about about 12, 13, almost 13 years old," Pujols said, describing his first-ever home run. "And we go back, you know, 28 years later, and here I am."
Using Pujols' math, 13 years old plus 28 years later would have made him 41 at the time of the interview. In the same interview, he said, "Well, Dotel, I believe he’s like three or four years older than me." The same math led to Pujols being 41.
So this is something that supposedly everyone in baseball knows and it didn't come out until now? You're telling me Pujols is 44 years old? I obviously have no idea if this is true or not, but if you take a look at his career numbers, they actually make much more sense if you add three years of age to every season.
A decline from an OPS of 1.022 from 2001-12 to one of .736 from 2013-20 — as well as a -0.1 WAR in 2020 — could certainly be explained away by the fact that Pujols was actually 43 last season. And sure, obviously every player's production declines over time, but hitting the ground running at an MVP level and maintaining that for a decade before really falling off the map — relative to what he had done previously — after signing that big contract all seems more plausible if it turns out this is actually true.
Pujols is actually a legend if he really got a 10-year, $240 million contract when he was three years older than he says he was, which Samson says executives throughout baseball at least had the impression was the case. Go get that bag, king.