St. Louis Cardinals Albert Pujols became the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to hit 700 home runs with a two-homer effort against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. Pujols joins some distinguished company in the form of some of the most accomplished skaters the game has ever seen: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.

Pujols hit 699 for the first time in the clubhouse in the third inning.

Then in the fourth, Pujols connected with number 700.

That was a five-RBI night before the fifth inning.

Pujols entered the season with the Cardinals knowing it was his last before retirement. Despite the possibility that he could get close to 700 and still fall, he is playing in 2022 and has never shied away from declaring that he will be playing for more than a year. It’s somewhat surprising that it actually got to this point. The second half picked up steam.

Pujols had just six home runs in the first half. He is now 15 years old after the star break. In the process, he surpassed Alex Rodriguez’s 696 home runs—fourth on the all-time list. Reaching 700 doesn’t move Pujols up the career leaderboard. It’s just a nice round number. We celebrate things like 500 home runs, 3,000 hits, 3,000 strikeouts, and so on, so becoming the fourth person to hit 700 home runs is a meaningful accomplishment.

Pujols, like Aaron, never had a 50-homer season. He hit at least 40 seven times. Only Aaron, Ruth, A-Rod, Bonds, Harmon and Killebrew have done it more often. He finished 30 in 14 of his 22 years, one behind Aaron and A-Rod. As he moves to 20-plus this season, that makes him 18 of 22 with at least 20 long balls. They move ahead of Frank Robinson and Willie Mays, who each had 17 20-homer seasons, and trail only Aaron and Bonds.

Not just a home run, obviously. Pujols is 10th in hits (over 3,000, obviously), fifth in doubles, third in RBI (behind Aaron and Root), 12th in runs and second in total bases (Aaron).

Still, the home run is the most revered statistic in baseball because it is the single most impactful outcome that can occur in a baseball game. Pujols is one of the best in history on this front.

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