Former Los Angeles Dodger and Angel, Albert Pujols, hit two home runs on Friday night at Dodger Stadium to become the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to join the exclusive 700 career home run club.
After striking out in his first at-bat against former Angels’ teammate Andrew Heaney, Pujols launched a 434-foot bomb halfway up the pavilion in left field in his second at-bat. The home run sent the sold out Dodger Stadium crowd of 50,041 into a frenzy and put him just one home run away from history.
An inning later, with the Cardinals leading 2-0, Pujols came to the plate again. This time, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts did not want him to face the left-hander Heaney. Instead, he went to the bullpen for right-hander Phil Bickford.
Bickford played with Pujols during the 2021 season, and has struggled with the home run ball this season. In fact, Bickford has allowed 12 homers this season in just 61 innings pitched. That’s nearly a home run allowed per every five innings pitched.
So with the entirety of the Dodger Stadium crowd on their feet, cell phone in hand, ready to record history, Bickford served up an 80 MPH slider that Pujols crushed 389-feet to left-center for the history-making homer.
Pujols joined Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755), and Barry Bonds (762) as the only players in history to eclipse 700 career home runs. Out of all three, Pujols is the first player born outside of the United States to accomplish the feat.
Pujols also now has 2,207 career RBI, seven shy from tying Ruth for second most in MLB history.
Pujols has been on a tear this season since the All-Star break. After participating in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium, Pujols went into the second half batting .215 with six homers and 25 RBI. Since then, he’s slashed .313 with 15 homers and 38 RBI.
Friday also marked the 18th time in his career that Pujols has hit 20 or more home runs in a season.
Pujols’ first home run came 21 years ago in 2001. His 100th career blast came in 2003, and his 500th in 2014 with the Angels. In his career, he now has 466 home runs with the Cardinals, 222 with the Angels, and 12 with the Dodgers.