California love: Albert Pujols joins the 700-HR club at the former home stadium

LOS ANGELES — 699 and 700. Albert Pujols achieved ultimate honors at Dodger Stadium with home runs in back-to-back at-bats.

Albert Pujols scored both goals against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodgers Stadium on Friday. Pujols took Dodgers starter Andrew Heaney deep for the first time in the third inning, a two-run home run to give the Cardinals their first lead of the night. The next inning, Pujols delivered against Dodgers relief pitcher Phil Bickford, a triple home run for the ultimate 700 milestone.

If a stadium outside of Busch Stadium had to be the location for 700, it’s difficult to find a more appropriate one than Dodger Stadium for a number of reasons.

  • Pujols only called Dodger Stadium home a season ago.
  • Pujols spent 10 years in Los Angeles with the Angels before briefly joining the Dodgers last year.
  • Pujols hit his 100th home run at Dodger Stadium in 2003.
  • Pujols picked up intensity in his 700 pursuit after competing in the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium in July.

Only three MLB greats now have more career homers than Pujols, all of whom are part of the exclusive 700-homer club. The top three home run leaders of all time are Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), and Babe Ruth (714).

Pujols took fourth place on September 11 with his 697th home run, a day after hitting the fourth-most roundtripper in MLB history with Alex Rodriguez (696).

After a relatively slow start in the performance department, generating just four homers in the first three months of the season, Pujols has come to the final leg of his career. He has 17 home runs since the turn of the second half and 14 since early August.

While Pujols was chasing fourth all-time and 700 career homers, Pujols also surpassed a more specific home run record held by MLB’s all-time home run leader Barry Bonds. Pujols went deep against his 450th fellow hurler on August 29, giving him the most home runs of all time by various pitchers.

The farewell season was very special for Pujols, one in which he competed in the Home Run Derby and the MLB All-Star Game after being picked by a commissioner, and one in which he made his pitching debut.

In his 12th season with the Cardinals, Pujols won three NL MVP awards and two World Series rings from 2001-11 in St. Louis, a streak during which he hit at least 32 homers each season and set multiple franchise batting records. His 462 homers ranks second in Cardinals history, behind only Cardinals legend Stan Musial. California love: Albert Pujols joins the 700-HR club at the former home stadium

Sarah Y. Kim

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