In Praise of Albert Pujols

On Friday night Albert Pujols hit the 699th and 700th home runs of his illustrious career. Only three other major leaguers have hit 700 or more home runs. Babe Ruth was the first, finishing his career in 1935 with 714 home runs. That number remained the gold standard for 39 years until Hank Aaron surpassed it in 1974. Hammerin’ Hank finished his career in 1976 with 755 round trippers. It would take another 33 years until Barry Bonds passed Aaron in 2007. Bonds holds the all-time record as he finished his career with 762.

Albert Pujols’ 700th Career Home Run – Bing video

Although Pujols may still have plenty left in the tank he has vowed to end his 22-year career at the end of this season. His production numbers have dropped dramatically over the past several years. Pujols saw a modest resurgence this year fueled by a return to his beloved St. Louis Cardinals and the implementation of the DH in the National League, but it is unlikely that if he continued playing, he could seriously challenge the Bonds home run record.

Albert Pujols

Yet what a way to go out! Prince Albert will add 700 home runs to the list of the incredible achievements of his 22-year career which include three MVP awards, the 2001 Rookie of the Year award and two-time NL home run leader. Pujols also is the only player in major league history to hit 400 home runs in his first ten seasons.

A fabulous way to end a remarkable Hall-of-Fame career.

Stats per baseball-reference.com

The 49ers of Major League Baseball

A lot has been made of Aaron Judge’s remarkable season. He recently blew past the 50-home run mark and all eyes are upon him as he heads towards 60. But what about all those sluggers who made it all the way to 49 home runs and never got to that milestone number 50.

A review of the 49er’s list includes some of baseball’s best hitters.

Lou Gehrig

Lou Gehrig reached 49 twice in 1934 and 1936, as did Harmon Killebrew in 1964 and 1969.

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson hit 49 home runs in his 1966 Triple Crown season. Ted Kluszewski blasted 49 in 1954. Larry Walker clubbed 49 round trippers in 1997.

The slugfest year of 2001, when Barry Bonds led the way with his record shattering 73 home runs, also provided 3 members of the 49ers Club; Shawn Green, Todd Helton and Jim Thome.

Eugenio Suarez who is still active hit 49 homers in 2019.

And finally, there is future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols who has belted 40 or more home runs in seven seasons topping out with 49 in 2006.

Albert Pujols

Quite an extraordinary, though overlooked achievement, by a group of some great Major League sluggers.