Pujols, 42, returned to the team with which he made a name for himself, the St. Louis Cardinals, on a one-year deal this spring. At that time, he had 679 hommes. He’s crossed 21 in a season just once since 2018. By the time MLB named his All-Stars to celebrate his stellar career, he had just 683 — far enough that it looked like he’d need an amazing revival to make it soon. It entered on Friday at 0.310 with 1.022 on a plus-slow basis since then.
Pujols didn’t need 700 homeowners to be a confirmed Hall of Fame, even though he’s in the smallest of the upper echelons now. Only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth have more home contests to their names than Pujols. Some consider the bond numbers to be distorted, His legacy is controversial enough to get him kicked out of the Hall of Fame.
Only nine players Get more hits from Pujols. All of them, except for the complicated House of Rose, in Cooperstown. Only two players, Ruth and Aaron, Led them to more runs. He is the most prolific Dominican hitter in baseball history and the first to cross the 700-man mark.
Pujols’ push comes in what has already been an emotional season for Cardinals. The catch has long announced Yadier Molina that this will be his last season, which means he and debutant Adam Wainwright will chase history together. In September, they made their 325th debut together, a record that won’t be broken anytime soon.
While Wainwright said he could continue to perform after this season, Cardinals fans cherished this season as a “final round” with the three mainstays on their 2006 and 2011 title-winning teams. Wainwright and Molina have stayed in St. Louis throughout their careers. Meanwhile, Pujols took a 10-year sabbatical in Anaheim—a period that wasn’t quite as productive as the Cardinal’s early years.
He’s made the All-Star nine times on his first assignment with the Cardinals and only once as a member of the Angels. He hit 40 homers six times as a member of the Cardinals and only once as a member of the Angels. But whatever it may have been in St. Louis, it likely took more from the Pujols than it did in Anaheim. Until this season, Pujols had not been able to serve as a regular designated hitter with a National League team. Who knows how the wear and tear and struggle to keep him at first base may have affected his ability to stay in the game into this season. Although the road back to Busch Stadium may have been winding, he kept it intact.
And this path will give him another chance to get a title. The Cardinals on Friday went into control of the National Central League and are likely to host one of the four wild card inaugural series in the first week of October. The three-time MVP has had 19 post-season homes in his career, none of which count toward that 700 total. But he doesn’t need anything extra now. The last batch is over. Leave no doubt.
“Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner.”