Among the best hitters ever, Albert Pujols is a fearsome presence at the plate who won three Most Valuable Player honors and two World Series rings. Now, as his great career comes to a close, he is on the verge of adding a rare award to his collection of achievements.
At this point, Pujols needs only five more home runs to join the exclusive company of Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Barry Bonds as the only members of the 700-HR club. In what he claims to be his final season as a professional baseball player.
Pujols has returned to the St. Louis Cardinals and is having his finest offensive year in almost a decade. In just 84 games, he had a.273/.348/.526 batting line and 16 home runs. If he elected to play for another year, he might even overtake Ruth for third place on the all-time home run list.
Albert Pujols needs five home runs in the Cardinals’ final 28 games to reach 700 home runs
Pujols has hit nine home runs in St. Louis’ last 28 games pic.twitter.com/Ucm15I3SaT
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 5, 2022
However, it is important to take things slowly. We’ll update you here as Pujols approaches home run number 700.
Albert Pujols hits a go-ahead home run in what could be his final at bat against the Cubs!
No. 695 ‼️ pic.twitter.com/jmKoCopcar
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 4, 2022
the 695th instance of a home run being hit In a game against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night, Albert Pujols hit Brandon Hughes’ fastball out of the park for the 695th home run of his career. He needs just one more hit to tie Alex Rodriguez at 696.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced Pujols’ final season would be 2022, thus he signed a one-year contract to return for that year. In his post-contract press conference, Pujols said “Multiple interested squads expressed their want to participate.
We received a call from the Cardinals, and within 12 hours or less, we had a transaction done, and “…we have the best fans in baseball.” The time I spent away from this place seems to have been irrelevant.” For the third consecutive year, he led the major leagues in age among players.
Pujols blasted his first home run for the Cardinals in over a decade on April 12. Against the San Francisco Giants on May 15, Pujols made his debut as a pitcher at age 40, the oldest player to do so since 1929. In the ninth inning of the Cardinals’ 15-6 rout win, he allowed two home runs and four earned runs.
When he entered the game in place of an injured Corey Dickerson on June 4 against the Chicago Cubs, he became the 10th player in MLB history to play in 3,000 games. On June 7 against the Tampa Bay Rays, a single by Pujols accounted for his 3,320th career hit, moving him over Paul Molitor into ninth place all-time.
On July 10, he started against a right-handed pitcher for the first time in his career, and he went 3-for-5 with a home run to help the Cardinals beat the Phillies 4-3. The Phillies had previously shut out St. Louis in three consecutive games. This home run gave Pujols his 1,377th extra-base hit, putting him in a three-way tie for third place with Musial.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made Pujols a “legacy selection” for the National League team at the 2022 All-Star Game in recognition of his stellar career. After that, he made it to the second round of the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby, where he ultimately lost to Juan Soto by a single home run.
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