Remember Albert Pujols?
He’s been flying well under the radar since signing a 10-year deal with the L.A. Angels back in 2012. But for more than a decade while playing in St. Louis, he was by far the most feared hitter in baseball.
A big tip of the cap is owed to Pujols, who mashed two home runs last night to join the exclusive 500-home run club. He became only the 26th player in baseball history to tally at least 500 home runs, and the very first to ever tally numbers 499 and 500 on the same day.
It’s an amazing feat. The 500-home run number is one that almost always guarantees a player’s spot in Cooperstown, absent some form of gambling or performance enhancing drugs controversy. But if reports are true, even more amazing is the fact that Pujols called his shot yesterday prior to the game – that he would reach the 500-homer milestone in unprecedented fashion.
The rumor is that, while making small talk with teammate Erick Aybar and FOX Sports West broadcaster Jose Mota in the tunnel leading to the visitor’s batting cage, Pujols told them that he was going to hit two home runs.
Pujols mentioned the statement in his postgame press conference, and Aybar swore it was true amidst the celebration in the visiting clubhouse after the game. Fellow Angel Mike Trout corroborated the story by admitting that before the game Aybar had told him of Pujol’s prediction.
Predicting that he would do what no man before him had done; if true, that’s just plain crazy.
At 34 years and 96 days old, Pujols becomes the third-youngest player to reach 500 homers. Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx were both 32 years old when they reached that milestone.