Albert Pujols becomes first Latino MLB player to reach 700 home runs
With his 700th career home run, Pujols has put himself in rarefied air, joining a list of only three others.
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Albert Pujols, first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, entered Friday night’s game two home runs shy of 700 for his career. He accomplished the feat less than halfway through the game.
In the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pujols hit a 434 foot home run from an Andrew Heaney pitch to put his team up 2-0.
At his next at-bat in the 4th inning, Pujols hit a second home run with two runners on base to reach the rare milestone and put the Cardinals up 5-0.
He becomes the first Latino baseball player to hit at least 700 home runs — doing so during Hispanic Heritage Month — and just the fourth player in MLB history to accomplish the feat. Pujols joins Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), and Babe Ruth (714) in the distinct list.
Earlier this year, he moved past Alex Rodriguez (696) for 4th on the MLB all-time home run list.
In his 22nd season, the Dominican-born baseball star announced prior to the start of the season that this would be his final before entering retirement.
Now 42, Pujols was drafted in the 13th round of the 1999 MLB draft by the St. Louis Cardinals, beginning his minor league career the following year.
In 2001, he made his major league debut with the Cardinals, where he played his first 11 seasons and became a two-time World Series champion.
After winning his second World Series, Pujols became a free agent for the first time in his career, later signing with the Los Angeles Angels.
He played 10 seasons with the Angels, before being released by the team and later signing a free agent contract with the Dodgers.
Just prior to the start of the 2022 baseball season, Pujols signed a one-year contract to return to the Cardinals for his final MLB season — seeing his career so full circle.
Beyond his two World Series wins, he is an 11-time All-Star, 3-time NL MVP, an NLCS MVP, a 2-time Gold Glove Award winner, a 5-time Fielding Bible Award winner, 6-time Silver Slugger Award, 2-time NL Hank Aaron Award winner, an NL batting champion, 2-time NL home run leader, and also led the NL in RBIs once. He also holds multiple records as a foreign-born player, and has reached the top 10 in multiple statistical categories.
His accolades scream "future Hall of Famer," as he slugs through his 22nd and final MLB season.
Pujols has now hit 21 home runs in the season — 14 of which have come since August 10.
With 10 games remaining in the Cardinals’ regular season, it remains to be seen if he can continue adding onto his home run total.