In what may have been a fitting pinnacle of his Hall of Fame career, Albert Pujols hit his 700th home run as a major league player last Friday, in baseball history A feat accomplished by only three other batsmen.
The landmark homer — Pujols’ second of the night — came in the fourth inning of Dodgers right-hander Phil Bickford, the latest in a record 455 different pitchers One, they gave up at least one round trip to Pujols in 22 MLB seasons.
Pujols joins the 700-HR club with Barry Bonds (762), Henry Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714), just 12 days later he surpasses Alex Rodriguez (696) for the all-time homer list Fourth place.
When he returned from the dugout, the Dodger Stadium crowd of 50,041 gave a standing ovation, admitting to cheering for his historic outburst. The chants of “Albert, Albert” came from fans behind the Cardinals lounge.
The historic home run came at the tail end of Puyols’ late-career revival as he returned to St. Petersburg. The 42-year-old St. Louis Cardinals this season — after leaving in free agency a decade ago.
Depth Graphics: A look back at the historic career of Albert Pujols
It’s in St. In St. Louis, Puyols initially rose from a little-known 13th-round pick to superstardom, including three National League MVP awards and two World Series titles in his first 11 seasons.
After signing a 10-year, $254 million free-agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels, Pujols hit 222 home runs over the next 10 seasons — before he was released by the Angels And hit another 12 home runs in late 2021 after being signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
But back in the familiar Busch Stadium and Cardinals uniforms, Pujols seemed to have found a source of youth this year, posting the highest slugging percentage and OPS since leaving St. Petersburg. Louis in 2011.
Puyols homered against Dodgers starter Andrew Heaney early Friday, and his 2-pointer from left field gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead in the first half of the third inning. Home runs have given Pujols 21 on the season.
The Dodgers went on to win 11-0. Pujols finished his historic night 2-4 with two home runs yielding 5 RBIs.
Fans rose to a standing ovation after Pujols’ tribute video was played on two scoreboards outside Dodger Stadium before the game. Having the opportunity to address the crowd before the game, Pujols said, “Well, I just want to take this opportunity to thank all the Dodgers fans.”
Contributor: Josh Peter in Los Angeles