In what could also be a becoming capstone to a Corridor of Fame profession, Albert Pujols on Friday related for his 700th dwelling run as a significant leaguer, a feat achieved by solely three different sluggers in baseball historical past.
The milestone homer – Pujols’ second of the night time – got here within the fourth inning off Dodgers right-hander Phil Bickford, the most recent of a document 455 completely different pitchers who’ve given up at the least one round-tripper to Pujols over his 22 MLB seasons.
Pujols joins Barry Bonds (762), Henry Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) within the 700-HR membership, simply 12 days after passing Alex Rodriguez (696) for fourth-place on the all-time dwelling run record.
The Dodger Stadium crowd of fifty,041 gave him a standing ovation when he got here again out of the dugout to acknowledge the cheers for his historic blast. Chants of “Al-bert, Al-bert” got here from followers behind the Cardinals’ dugout.
“It’s fairly particular,” Pujols stated of reaching the milestone. “When it’s actually going to hit me (is) after I’m carried out, on the finish of the season and I’m retired. In all probability a month or two after that have a look at the numbers. , don’t get me fallacious. I do know the place my place stands on this sport. ”
For him, Pujols stated, taking part in baseball was by no means about “chasing numbers.” However the numbers saved piling up.
The historic homer comes on the tail finish of a late-career renaissance for Pujols, who returned to the St. Louis Cardinals this season at age 42 – after leaving as a free agent a decade earlier.
It was in St. Louis the place Pujols initially rose from a little-known Thirteenth-round draft decide to superstardom that included three Nationwide League MVP awards and a pair of World Sequence titles in his first 11 seasons.
After signing a 10-year, $254 million free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels, Pujols hit 222 dwelling runs over the following 10 seasons — plus 12 extra in late 2021 after he was launched by the Angels and signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However again within the acquainted confines of Busch Stadium and in a Cardinal uniform, Pujols has seemingly discovered the fountain of youth this yr, posting his highest slugging share and OPS since he left St. Louis in 2011.
Pujols homered earlier in Friday’s sport off Dodgers starter Andrew Heaney, a two-run shot to left subject that put the Cardinals up 2-0 within the high of the third inning. The house runs give Pujols 21 on the season.
The Dodgers went on to an 11-0 win. Pujols completed his historic night time 2-for-4, the 2 dwelling runs producing 5 RBI.
Earlier than the sport, after a tribute video for Pujols was performed on the 2 scoreboards within the outfield at Dodger Stadium, followers gave Pujols a standing ovation. Given an opportunity to deal with the group earlier than the sport started, Pujols stated: “Effectively, I simply need to take this chance to thank all of you Dodgers followers.’’
After the sport, Pujols sat in entrance of his six youngsters within the Dodgers’ interview room, a courtesy of the workforce he performed for final season when he regained his pleasure for the sport.
“What a particular night time,” he stated. “To begin with, to have my household right here on the town, and to have the ability to do it right here at Dodger Stadium.”