Albert Pujols Hitting 700 Home Runs is Something Special

Major League Baseball’s 700 homer club just grew by 33 percent Friday night.

Albert Pujols hits career home run number 700
Photo Credit: Kiyoshi Mio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

That Was Unexpected

Heading into tonight’s game, nobody thought that this would be the night Albert Pujols would reach 700 home runs. He was still two away from that mark and the Cardinals were on their way to L.A. for a tough series against the best team in baseball. Suddenly, in the third inning, Pujols did what he has done best this year: crush lefty pitching to left field. His latest victim was Dodgers pitcher Andrew Heaney. Now, Pujols is at 699, it’s early in the game, and the night starts to feel potentially magical.

An inning later, Pujols finds himself up again. The lefty Heaney was still on the mound. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was not going to make it that easy. He brought in righty Phil Bickford. Sometimes, it just doesn’t matter who’s pitching when you are up against destiny. ‘The Machine’ pounced on a breaking ball and Dodger stadium immediately erupted.

Albert Pujols at 700: This One Feels Special

With Albert Pujols, this is the fourth time the baseball world has seen a player hit 700 home runs in their career. This one just seems to hit different. This may be found rude, but the hitting prowess of Babe Ruth before World War II just feels like a Paul Bunyan tale at this point.

Hank Aaron doing it the 1970s feels more real. Still, Almost everyone that was alive for his 700th homer is over the age of 50. Most of the people that actually watched the bulk of Aaron’s are probably not around anymore.

Then you have Barry Bonds. For a good portion of the public, he is the guy that we associated with 700 home runs. Steroids have made that whole thing just feel icky.

Pujols is someone everyone can get behind. He’s likable, he’s a real baseball guy who relies on more than just pure power, and, most importantly, no evidence that even remotely points to steroid use. Then you have him coming back to St. Louis this year for his swan song season. Baseball has been waiting a long time to be able to enjoy such a special moment like this. This feels perfect.

Albert Pujols Last Home Run Derby Didn’t Disappoint

Last night’s MLB Home Run Derby was a celebration of one the greatest hitters of the 21st century and Albert Pujols, aka ‘The Machine’ gave fans a show.

Albert Pujols at the 2022 MLB Home Run Derby
Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A Valiant Effort

Nobody thought Albert Pujols was going to make it past the first round of the Home Run Derby. Heck, even Pujols himself thought he was done when he gave away his batting gloves after putting up 13 on his turn. Also, he was going up against the NL’s home run leader in Kyle Schwarber. Things looked bleak. Then suddenly, the two wound up in a ‘swing off,’ and the rest is history.

Almost Too Perfect

After Pujols dispatched Schwarber, that looked like the end of it, since he appeared to be heading into a buzz saw in Juan Soto. Then, Soto struggled in the first 45 seconds. At this point, I think this is when folks like myself started thinking, “could he actually win this thing?” Then Soto heated up, got the bonus time, and shattered any hopes of a storybook moment. But that is okay. We didn’t need that.

It Was Still Perfect

Albert Pujols was never going to win the Home Run Derby. The Derby is a young man’s competition. Power is rewarded with a 30 second bonus, which basically means you’re screwed if you don’t get it. Despite being at a colossal disadvantage, Pujols was able to stay competitive with one of the best swings the game has ever seen.

If he were to have actually won the whole thing, it would’ve been too good to be true. It would’ve felt fake. Last night, when Soto was slow out of the gate, a friend of mine actually texted me that he thought it was rigged. Albert Pujols didn’t win, but he was respectable, and he demonstrated what made him great. That’s all most fans wanted anyhow.