Last night, Former Cardinals Albert Pujols smashed the 600th home-run of his career, cementing his place in a very elite group.
Drafted in the 13th round of the 1999 MLB draft, not a single team in the MLB saw what Albert Pujols would become. If they would have, I can promise you that his name would’ve been the first one read that night. Luckily for the city of St. Louis, Pujols dropped far enough in the draft for the Cardinals to draft him. Supposedly the Boston Red Sox were extremely close to drafting him, but changed their mind at the last second. Oh how they messed up.
Although currently a Los Angeles Angel, almost everyone would agree that Albert will ultimately be remembered as a St. Louis Cardinal. He came up through the Cardinal’s farm system and grew into a super-star. Pujols hit 445 of his now 600 home-runs wearing the birds on the bat.
Now with 600 under his belt, joining a group of only eight other players, it’s time to reflect on the soon-to-be-legend’s greatest moments as a Cardinal. Let’s take a look at some of the future Hall-Of-Famer’s most iconic hits that helped him reach 600.
Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS
This is one of my earliest memories of watching the Cardinals as a young kid. Down 4-2 in the game, and facing elimination from the playoffs, Albert Pujols comes to bat. I remember vividly my parents telling me to go to sleep — it was late and “the game was over”. I also vividly remember clinging onto every last ounce of hope and telling them, “It’s not over until its over”.
The blast, estimated at 470 feet, is the biggest moment in Pujol’s career in my opinion. Sure its hard to point to only one moment when he had so many, and the homer only postponed elimination from that series, but as a young kid it showed me the importance of belief and hope, and was one of the moments I can point to that got me hooked on the game of baseball.
Game 3 of the 2011 World Series
This is undoubtably one of the games that will be closely associated with the name Albert Pujols for a long time to come. Going 5 for 6 with 3 HRs and 6 RBIs, Pujols had one of the best games by a batter EVER in a World Series game. Sure, one could argue that the performance may not have had significant importance, as the entire team’s offense stepped up that day scoring 16 runs, but it shouldn’t subtract from the game Pujols had.
Additionally, Pujols effectively put the game out of reach with his first home-run, as it was only a two run game, in a game with a lot of runs (8-6) at the time. In this game, he achieved a feat that had only ever been done by Reggie Jackson — hit three homers in a World Series Game. Even more impressive is that the first of which came only in the 6th inning, meaning all three were in a row.
On August 26, 2010, Albert Pujols became the first player to hit 400 homers within just 10 seasons of play. Pujols became the third youngest even to reach the 400-home-run milestone.
Hit Number 2000
Unlike his 400th homer, Pujols scored hit number 2000 while playing in front of the St. Louis faithful at Busch Stadium. With the RBI double, Pujols joined a group of only four others who had over 2000 hits while wearing a Cardinals jersey. The standing ovation and recognition that happened after was an awesome moment.
And how about a huuuge throwback?
First Home-run in the MLB
You’re right announcer, that won’t be nearly his last…