We're never going to know for sure if Babe Ruth really called his shot and hit a home run against the Cubs in the 1933 World Series. It's fun to think he did. And we know it's possible, because others have done it.
Reporter Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register gives us the data:
“He said he was going to hit two homers and drive in five runs,” Erick Aybar said.
Added Mike Trout: “If Albert tells you something, he’s going to do it.”
Sure enough, Pujols belted a three-run homer in the first inning and a towering, 430-foot two-run blast in the fifth to become the 26th player in major league history to hit 500 homers.
Pujols even counted his future RBIs correctly. He's a witch! It makes you wonder what else he's predicted.
But here's the weird part about Albert going all NostraPujols and predicting he'd become the 26th player in major league history to reach 500 home runs later that night: Somehow, his wife didn't have any idea. Not only was she not with the club on this leg of the Angels road trip, but Mrs. Pujols was — Fletcher writes — "getting her nails done back home" at the moment her husband connected for No. 500.
Did they not even have the game on TV inside of the beauty parlor? Maybe they don't have TVs there, so it's not like a Sport Clips, with the mani and pedi. It's all just so ho-hum. Albert predicted he would homer twice, and he did. So it's no surprise to him. Mrs. Pujols wasn't with the team, and probably didn't even see it happen live on TV, because she was doing her nails. Major League Baseball did issue special balls with markings in case the historical homer ever needs authenticating. And yet the fan who caught the homer didn't want anything for the ball. So it prompts the question: "Who ever would fake Albert Pujols's 500th home-run ball?"
Was this just not a big deal? Five-hundred homers used to be a big deal. It still should be. Pujols, not afraid to show some pride, put the achievement in sound context:
“It’s pretty special,” Pujols said. “There are 18,000 players to wear a big league uniform. To have only 26 do this, it’s pretty special.”
But it seemed so inevitable in his case, even to Pujols himself, that it lacks a certain grandeur. That he's no longer playing for the St. Louis Cardinals takes some of the sheen off, probably. But this is still Albert Pujols, one of the best hitters of any generation. His accomplishments — specifically this one — should be appreciated more than it seems they are.
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