at the Angels game last night with the team comfortably in front up 7-1 in the seventh, Albert Pujols stepped to the plate with another chance to make history.
When Albert Pujols came to the plate most of the 37,033 fans who hadn’t left yet as the game reached the 3.5 hour mark had no idea they were going to witness history. Pujols worked the count to 2 and 2 and then took a mighty swing at the Nick Gardewine offering and connected. Pujols drove the ball out to centerfield. Despite the best efforts of Rangers centerfielder Delino Deshields who climbed the fence in hopes of robbing Pujols’ bid to make MLB history the ball sailed well over the wall for a 3-run home run.
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Pujols’ blast put an exclamation point on the great evening for the Angels pushing the score to 10-1. However, it meant so much more than most people knew. The home run, the 610th of Pujols’ career helped him pass Sammy Sosa to move up to 8th place on the all-time home run list. Even more though it made Albert Pujols the all-time leader in home runs by a foreign born player in MLB History.
The Angels quickly put a graphic on the scoreboard to let fans know the significance of the Pujols homer and he got an ovation, but nothing like when he hit #600 in June. However, if you think of some of the names Pujols has passed along the way to achieve this record it is pretty impressive. Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Delgado, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Palmeiro, and now add Sammy Sosa to that list that Big Albert has passed.
While none of these names are Hall of Famers as of yet, it is still an impressive list to be a part of. Pujols will probably only pass one more player this season which is Jim Thome who has 612 home runs. However, Pujols in only 50 home runs away from passing Willie Mays for 5th place and 87 away from passing Alex Rodriguez (born in Miami, Florida in case you were wondering).
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Reaching 700 home runs might be a stretch for Pujols, but it is definitely not out of the realm of possibility with four more years left on his 10-year contract. It would be fun to see Pujols become only the fourth player in MLB history reach the 700 club. So enjoy the Machine while you can as there may not be anyone who reaches these numbers for awhile, although Mike Trout may have something to say about that in about 15 years or so.
For now Albert can bask in the glory of another milestone reached. Let’s see how he ends up this season and in the future.