After hitting his 700th home run in his career, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Albert Pujols watches as he looks on.
LOS ANGELES — St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols scored 700 runs, connecting for his second run of the game. He became the fourth major league player to achieve this milestone as the Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-0 on Friday night.
The 42-year old Pujols, who was playing the last days of his final big league season, joined Barry Bonds (762 homers), Hank Aaron (7555) and Babe Ruth (714) in one of the most exclusive clubs in baseball.
“I know my place in the game. But, since Day One, when I made my debut, it wasn’t about numbers. It was never about chasing numbers. It was always about winning championships, and I tried to improve in these games.”
Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals’ slugger, ‘chases’ baseball history with 700 home runs
Dave Roberts, Dodgers manager, was delighted to share his joy about Pujols’ achievement.
Roberts stated, “This is like Mount Rushmore for sluggers. So to reach that 700-homerun mark, it’s amazing.”
A man in a blue Dodgers shirt adorned with Hideo Nomo’s No. The 700th homer ball was snatched by 16 on the back. As he held the black glove that contained the historic souvenir ball, he was taken under the stands. After lengthy negotiations, the man was finally escorted from Dodger Stadium with 10 security guards and into an SUV.
Pujols showed the pop of his earlier, dominant days and he reached No. Pujols reached No. 699 in the third inning and then launched No. 700 in the fourth.
A 37-year-old Los Angeles man, Cesar Soriano, snagged No. 699. After being told that he could meet Pujols, he turned the ball over with security.
The Pujols have had a remarkable, resurgent run. This was his 21st home run of the season and his 14th since August.
Many thought he was unlikely to make 700 runs this season. He batted.235 in August with seven home runs.
Major home runs are coming in for two of the biggest names in baseball
He made his mark with two long shots that evening.
Pujols stated, “It’s quite special, especially with Dodgers fans,” to do it here. “And you get to see both the Cardinals and Dodgers fans, it’s a great experience, and they enjoy it. It’s also special to be able to do this in a Cardinals uniform.
Pujols’ historic homer came against Phil Bickford, a three-run hit. The ball touched down in the left-field pavilion’s first row, exactly where Andrew Heaney’s two-run hit had touched down.
Bickford stated, “At first I was upset… but then when the crowd reacted, and seen all of the smiles, that was a very special moment in MLB.” “Albert Pujols has been one of the most incredible people I have ever met.”
Pujols ran around the bases, smiling the whole way. Pujols crossed the plate, pointing his fingers upwards, and then he went over to Adrian Beltre of Dominican Republic. They shook hands through the protective netting.
He was then off to the Cardinals Dugout, receiving hugs and compliments every step of his journey.
Pujols was given a standing ovation by the crowd. He had just finished his last season playing for the Dodgers. Pujols raised his cap in recognition and took a curtain-call.
The 50,041-strong crowd chanted “Pujols!” Pujols!” After being up for so long, the fans finally got down and sat down in anticipation of witnessing history.
Pujols 700th homer also gave him some nice, round numbers — 500 home runs against right-handers, 200 against lefties.
He said, “This could have occurred last week in St. Louis. Which would have been amazing to me. But to have it happen tonight in front my family, friends, and people who truly care and love me, is special.”
The San Francisco Giants met at Chase Field in Phoenix when the 700th homer was displayed on the videoboard. Evan Longoria, a veteran third baseman, and the Diamondbacks’ fans applauded.
Shohei Ohtani, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field in Minneapolis, said through an interpreter: “I am really glad he got 700. … It was an honor being a teammate of his. It feels like he has more to go this year.
Pedro Martinez, a Hall of Fame pitcher, tweeted his admiration for his Dominican counterpart: “You are the man!”
Pujols scored twice the same night that Aaron Judge, New York Yankees’ slugger, was on deck to record home runs. In a win at Yankee Stadium, he remained at 60 homers and was just short of Roger Maris’ AL record of 61 in 1961.
Alec Burleson, Juan Yepez, and Lars Nootbaar also made homers for St. Louis.
Pujols hit the ball well in his first game against Heaney, and he was caught short in the sixth. In the eighth, he was replaced by Burleson who added a pinch hit homer.
Jose Quintana (6-6) won the game. In 6 1/3 innings, he fanned five and struck out six.
Cardinals outfielder Corey Dickerson pitched in the ninth. To end the game, Corey Dickerson retired Trayce Thompson with the bases loaded.
Heaney (3-3), took the loss for the NL West-leading Dodgers.
When he reached career homer No. 1, Pujols broke a tie with Alex Rodriguez to be fourth on the career-list. 697 against Pittsburgh, Sept. 11.
On July 4, the three-time NL MVP was batting.189. He began to find his rhythm in August when he hit seven homers in a 10-game stretch, which helped St. Louis win the division race.
After returning to St. Louis in March, Pujols enjoyed a productive season. He signed a $2.5million, one-year contract. This is his highest total since hitting 23 homers with the Angels in 2019.
He intends to retire after the season is over.
Pujols started his career in St. Louis. The Cardinals selected him in the 13th round 1999 of the amateur draft. He also won the 2001 NL Rookie-of-the Year award.
In each of his 10 first seasons, he has attained at least.300 and at least 30 homers. He also had at least 100 RBIs. He was a key player in the Cardinals’ 2006 and 2011 World Series championships.
In 2006, he set a record with 49 homers. This was one of seven seasons in which he had at least 40. He was the leader in majors with 47 homers and topped the NL in 2010 with 42.
Pujols signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Angels in free agency after leaving St. Louis in December 2011. In May 2021, the Angels waived him. He then signed a 10-year contract with the Dodgers for $240 million.