Friday, September 23, 2022

Cardinals' Albert Pujols became the fourth player in MLB history to score 700 home runs. CBC Sports

Albert Pujols looked like a long shot to reach 700 home runs in early August, yet a dozen swings from the holy mark and his power stroke were all but gone.

appeared either.

Showcasing his youthfulness now in the final weeks of his career, the 42-year-old slugger got there with two long shots.

Pujols hit his 700th home run, connecting for his second drive of the game and becoming the fourth player in major league history to make it to the milestone as the St. Louis Cardinals beat hometown 11-0 on Friday night. Los Angeles Dodgers defeated.

In one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs, Pujols joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

Pujol said, “Don’t get me wrong, I know where I am in this game, but from day one when I made my debut, I was never about numbers, never about chasing numbers I was not.” “It was always about winning championships and trying to get better at these games.”

A man wearing a blue Dodgers shirt with Hideo Nomo’s number 16 on his back dodges Homer’s 700th ball. He was swung down the stand as he held a black glove containing the historic souvenir ball to his chest. A long conversation ensued before the man was escorted out of Dodger Stadium, with 10 security personnel and in a waiting SUV.

It’s like the Sluggers’ Mount Rushmore, so to reach that 700-home run mark, it’s doable.– Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on Cardinals Albert Pujols

“Souvenirs are for the fans,” Pujols said. “I don’t have a problem if they want to keep it. That’s why fans come here, for a special moment in history.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts happily reported on Pujol’s achievement.

“It’s like the Sluggers’ Mount Rushmore, so it’s remarkable to reach the 700-home run mark,” Roberts said.

Cesar Soriano, a 37-year-old from Los Angeles, cracked No. 699. He turned the ball to safety after being asked to meet Pujols.

It has been a remarkable and resurgent run for Pujols. It was his 14th home run since the start of August for the National League Central-leading Cardinals, and his 21st season.

Roberts marveled at the impossibility of Pujols making history in late July.

“I wouldn’t doubt that, but it looks like the stars have to align to play that way,” Roberts said. “I don’t think even Albert thought it was a possibility.”

Now, no one needs to wonder if Pujol will be back next year for a few extra swings had he ended the season on 699 or so.

Pujols took extra pleasure in making his mark at the Dodgers Stadium, where he said he derived his pleasure from playing with the Dodgers last season.

“It’s very special, especially with Dodgers fans, to have it here,” Pujols said. “And, you get to see both sides, they enjoy it and it’s really special to do that in the Cardinals’ uniform.”

Pujols’ historic homer was a three-run shot against Dodgers reliever Phil Bickford. The ball landed in the first couple rows of the left-field pavilion, where his two-run shot touched left-hander Andrew Heaney’s previous innings.

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols scored his 700th career home run during the fourth inning Friday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

“At first, I was upset … and then when the crowd reacted and saw all the smiles, it was a very special moment for MLB,” Bickford said. “Albert Pujols is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.”

He walked around the bases smiling all the way. After crossing the plate and pointing his fingers skyward, Pujol went on to greet fellow Dominican and former Dodgers star Adrian Beltre. They high-five through the protective net.

Then he went to the dugout of the Cardinals, hugging and congratulating every step of the way.

Pujols greeted a long standing ovation from the crowd, took a curtain call and raised his hat in acknowledgment.

A crowd of 50,041 chanted “Pujols! Pujols!” Slogans. They finally sat down on their feet in anticipation of seeing history.

Pujols’ 700th homer also gave him some other good, goal numbers – he scored 500 home runs with a right-hander and 200 with a left-hander.

His achievement was celebrated beyond Chavez Ravine.

At Chase Field in Phoenix, the San Francisco Giants were meeting on the mound when the 700th homer was videoboarded, prompting veteran third baseman Evan Longoria to applaud the Diamondbacks’ crowd.

At Target Field in Minneapolis, Shohei Ohtani led the Los Angeles Angels to victory and then said through an interpreter: “I’m really glad he got the 700, so it looks like he has a lot more left in the tank.” Is.”

Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martínez tweeted about his fellow Dominican star: “You’re the man!!”

Pujol remained on deck for home run history as New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge joined twice in the same night. He remained on 60 homers, in a victory at Yankee Stadium, just a short distance from tying Roger Maris’ American League mark of 61 in 1961.

Two goals from Pujols gave the Cardinals a 5-0 lead, with all runs courtesy his big bat.

Hitting stroke found in August

Pujols swung in his first at-bat against Heaney and was dismissed short in the sixth. He was replaced in eighth place by pinch-hitter Alec Burleson, who homed.

He broke the tie with fourth-ranked Alex Rodriguez on the career list when he hit career homer number 697 against Pittsburgh on September 11.

Batting .189 on July 4, Pujols began finding his stroke in August, swapping seven homers in a 10-game stretch to help St. Louis advance in the division race.

Pujols has enjoyed a productive season since returning to St. Louis in March for a one-year contract worth US$2.5 million. This is his highest score since hitting 23 homers for the Angels in 2019.

Pujols began his career in St. Louis. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 13th round of the 1999 amateur draft and won the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award.

He has hit at least .300 in each of his first 10 seasons with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs. He helped the Cardinals win World Series titles in 2006 and 2011.

Pujols set a career high in 2006 with 49 homers – one of seven seasons with at least 40 homers. He led the majors in 2009 with 47 homers and topped the NL in 2010 with 42.

Pujols left St. Louis in free agency in December 2011, signing a 10-year contract with the Angels worth $240 million. He was waived by the team in May 2021, and then joined the Dodgers and hit 12 homers and scored 38 runs in 85 games.

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