Albert Pujols Passes Willie Mays in Career Home Runs

Albert Pujols

Pujols Passes Willie Mays with Multi-Homer Game

Albert Pujols 60th career multi-homer game was special for the Los Angeles Angels slugger. Five days after tying Hall of Famer Willie Mays with home run No. 660, Pujols went deep twice against the Texas Rangers to pass the baseball legend. He now sits alone in fifth place on the career home run list, 34 behind Alex Rodriguez. Pujols most recent multi-homer game was May 11 of last season against the Baltimore Orioles. His 60 career multi-homer games are eighth in baseball history.

The All-Time Home Run List

The incredible seasons Albert Pujols had as the star of the St. Louis Cardinals fueled his late career run up the home run list. His 445 home runs in Cardinal red left him in second place in the franchise’s history, 30 behind St. Louis legend Stan Musial. He averaged more than 40 home runs over his 11 seasons in St. Louis. Albert’s 217 home runs with the Angels have him currently in fifth place in Angels’ history. Lastly, Pujols trails only four players on the career home run list: Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), and Alex Rodriguez (696).

With one season remaining on his Angels contract after 2020, Pujols may very well be done moving up the career home run ladder. He has seen significant declines across the board since his arrival in Anaheim. Despite averaging 26 home runs per season with the Angels, coming into 2020, he hasn’t hit more than 30 since 2016. Plus, his playing time has decreased year-by-year, with a further reduction likely next season with the recent production of Jared Walsh.

Barry Bonds hit a total of 54 home runs in his age-41 and age-42 seasons, yet he is quite the outlier when predicting what Pujols might do in 2021. Hank Aaron hit a total of 22 home runs over the same two aged seasons and was a below-average hitter compared to the league. Babe Ruth and Alex Rodriguez who both retired after their age-40 seasons, weren’t very productive. Since Pujols has been worse than the league average over the last four seasons it seems highly unlikely he will approach 30+ home runs in his age-41 season in 2021. While he hasn’t stated whether or not he will retire at the end of his Angels tenure it is quite certain he will not pass Rodriguez in an Angels uniform.

The Machine’s Place in History

Albert Pujols’ place in history has been secure since the day he left St. Louis. While his career totals were still years away from the major milestones, Pujols’ production in St. Louis places him on the shortlist of greatest hitters the game of baseball has ever seen. And while his time in Anaheim has been disappointing when compared to numbers earlier in his career, his longevity has allowed him to hit the sacred numbers of 500 home runs and 3000 hits. When it comes to career hitting stats there are few Top-10 lists without Pujols’ name on it.

Pujols By the Numbers

Games: 2858 – 16th place
*If Pujols plays in 142 more games he will be the 9th player in MLB history to play 3000 games.
Hits: 3235 – 15th place
*100 more hits would put him in a tie for 7th place.
Runs: 1843 – 16th place
RBI: 2099 – 3rd place
Doubles: 669 – 5th place
Extra Base Hits: 1347 – 5th place
*31 more puts him in 3rd; he averaged 42 over the last three seasons.
Total Bases: 5922 – 5th place
*145 more puts him in 3rd; he averaged 210 over the last three seasons.
Intentional Walks: 312 – 2nd place
*Bonds has a comfortable lead over Pujols as he was intentionally walked 688 times (FUN FACT: that’s 41 more walks than Ichiro Suzuki’s whole career).

As the sun sets on the wonderful career of Albert Pujols, fans will be bombarded with articles about the transcendent talent he truly was. But, Albert Pujols passes Willie Mays might be the final headline that fully captures The Machine’s dominance in the batter’s box. And that’s what he was: dominant.

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