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Paul Goldschmidt is classic Goldy as he’s introduced by Cardinals

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Paul Goldschmidt buttoned a red and white No. 46 jersey over his suit Friday as the St. Louis Cardinals introduced their new first baseman.

It was an odd sight for Arizona Diamondbacks fans who watched the franchise star blossom in the desert over the last seven years. Two days after he was traded by the D-backs to the Cardinals for three players and a draft pick, it was still uncomfortable.

Goldschmidt, in his introductory press conference, did as Goldschmidt does. He refused to discuss any thoughts of next year’s free agency or a contract extension with his current deal ending after 2019.

The low-maintenance star said he chose the No. 46 jersey because it was the closest to his No. 44 jersey with Arizona that was available.

No. 43 and 44 are already taken by current players, and No. 45 is retired for Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.

Not that he cared either way. Goldschmidt said his No. 44 jersey with Arizona was handed to him; the first baseman didn’t request a number when he first joined the D-backs in 2011.

In St. Louis, Goldschmidt said he was excited to play in front of a packed stadium and challenge for a title. He expressed regret that he didn’t bring a World Series home for the Diamondbacks.

“Got a couple chances to play in the playoffs over my career,” he said. “There’s nothing better than that. Those are my fondest memories with the Diamondbacks. It’s probably my one regret that we couldn’t bring a championship to Arizona while I was there.

“I loved everything about them, from the top, from ownership all the way down to all the coaches, to the employees to the people who took care of the family, who took care of my kids. It was amazing.”

The Cardinals had been pressing D-backs general manager Mike Hazen for about a month to acquire Goldschmidt, they said. Things took a turn this week as they put a trade on the table that Arizona felt was the best return they could find.

“I don’t really follow rumors to be honest with you, but of course around town people say something or someone texts you,” Goldschmidt said.

Goldschmidt rolled through the offseason knowing being traded was a possibility. The change of scenery he admitted is exciting.

But Goldschmidt is approaching it all the same.

“I think from the outside you think it’s a bigger change than it is,” he said. “I was pretty fortunate to be in Arizona that long, but there was always change, there was always new players.

“It’s just kind of the baseball life.”

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