Put it in the books. Last night, first base slugger Albert Pujols became just the 26th player in Major League Baseball history to smash 500 homeruns. The 34-year-old is the the third-youngest to join the 500 Homerun Club behind Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx who were both 32.
The only problem with the accomplishment was that his wife was not in attendance. Pujols hit the 499th and 500th in the same night in a 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.
The Anaheim Angel had to relay the good news long distance, “I went and made a phone call and I called her, and she was doing her nails. And everybody in the salon, I guess, was telling her, ‘Congratulations!’ And she was like, ‘Did you just hit your 500th?’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry,”’ Pujols added, “She would have loved to be here with my kids and my family. She drives me every day to try to be a better person, a better player.”
— MLB (@MLB) April 23, 2014
So far this season, Pujols has looked more like the slugger that the Angels signed to a massive 10-year contract worth $240 million back in 2011. After a decent 2012 campaign with the Halos, the .321 lifetime hitter played in just 99 games last season and hit a career low .258 with only 17 homeruns. However, Pujols looks healthy this year and has already hit eight homeruns in just a little over three weeks of baseball.
Thank you to all of my fans for the well wishes on my HR#500. I thank The Lord for you, & your support over the years. May God bless you all
— Albert Pujols (@PujolsFive) April 23, 2014
The nine-time All-Star and three-time National League MVP hit his 499th dinger off of Taylor Jordan in the first inning. The second homer, also off of Jordan, was hit to left-center field. The ball was caught by 29-year-old Air Force staff sergeant Thomas Sherill, who gave the memento back to Pujols.
Even though the game was in Washington, the fans gave Pujols an ovation after the historic 500th homerun. After the game, Pujols said at a news conference, “Now we’ve got to start on the next milestone, I guess.”
— Mike Trout (@Trouty20) April 23, 2014
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) April 23, 2014
— FOXSports West Girls (@FSWestGirls) April 23, 2014
Image via Wikimedia Commons