Twenty-six men in major league history have hit at least 500 home runs — 26 men and one "Machine."
Albert Pujols connected for two homers in his first three at-bats Tuesday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., giving him 500 for his career. He went deep for a three-run homer to left in the first inning and, after striking out in the top of the second, followed with a long two-run shot to center in the fourth. Pujols is the first player ever to hit homers No. 499 and 500 in the same game. Both came against right-hander Taylor Jordan. His homers helped give the Los Angeles Angels a 7-2 lead against the Nationals.
Regardless, Pujols got a largely standing ovation from the Washington crowd.
At 34 years old and coming off two down seasons for him because of injuries, Pujols leads the majors in 2014 with eight homers. Pujols has lost some of his luster since coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals, where he became the only player in major league history to bat at least .300 with 30 or more home runs and 100 RBIs in his first 10 seasons. (Yeah, two of those stats are batting average and RBIs, but color me impressed anyway.)
The Angels haven't been nearly as successful with Pujols as the Cardinals have been without him over the past two seasons, but he's still one of the greatest players in history. By the time he retires, how many will have been better hitters? Twenty? Fifteen? And for a time, Pujols was a very good defensive first baseman.
Fox Sports reports that Pujols is the third-fastest to 500:
Albert Pujols: the 3rd fastest to 500 HRs. pic.twitter.com/cTTcCQ2zI4— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 23, 2014
Eddie Murray, next on the all-time list with 504 homers, is one of 16 in the 500-home run club who also are in the Hall of Fame. Adam Dunn of the White Sox, with 443 home runs, is behind on the active list. And let's not forget that Alex Rodriguez leads active players with 654 homers — no matter how many asterisks you want to put next to them. Pujols never has had any serious PED shadows following him, the Jack Clark charges included, but he'll always be tied to the era in which he played — in which he dominated.
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