Pujols, 42, rejoined the St. Louis Cardinals this spring on a one-year deal. During that time, he had 679 homers. He has surpassed 21 in a season just once since 2018. By the time MLB named him an All-Star to commemorate his stellar career, he had just 683 homers — and it looked like he would need a spectacular renaissance to get close to that. . He entered Friday with a 1.022 on-base-plus-slugging percentage after hitting .310.
Pujols doesn’t need 700 homers, but he’s on the cusp right now. Only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth have more home runs to their name than Pujols. The numbers on the bonds are considered tainted by some. His legacy is controversial enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
Only nine players Get more hits than Pujols. All of them, except Pete Rose, are complicated are in Cooperstown. Only two soldiers, Ruth and Aaron They have scored more runs. He is the greatest Dominican hitter in baseball history and the first player to cross the 700-homer threshold.
Pujols’ push comes during an already emotional season for the Cardinals. Longtime catcher Yadier Molina announced this will be his final season, meaning he and starter Adam Wainwright will be chasing history together. In September, they made their 325th start together, a feat that won’t be surpassed anytime soon.
Although Wainwright said he might continue pitching after this season, Cardinals fans treasured this season as “one last ride” with three staples from their title-winning 2006 and 2011 teams. Wainwright and Molina stayed in St. Louis. Pujols, meanwhile, departed for a 10-year retirement in Anaheim — one that wasn’t as productive as his early Cardinals years.
He made the first nine-time All-Star team with the Cardinals and was a one-time member of the Angels. He hit 40 homers six times as a member of the Cardinals and once as a member of the Angels. But St. Whatever happened to Lewis, he probably took more from Pujols than what happened in Anaheim. Until this season, Pujols could not serve as a regular designated hitter with a National League team. Who knows, attrition and the struggle to keep him at first base may have affected his ability to stay in the game this season. However, he did just that, even though he had meandered his way back to Busch Stadium.
That path will give him the opportunity for one more title. The Cardinals took control of the National League Central on Friday and are likely to host one of the four opening wild-card series in the first week of October. The three-time MVP has 19 postseason homers in his career, none of which count toward that 700. But he didn’t need anything extra now. The final push is complete. He leaves no room for doubt.
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