Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run Friday night in a magical final season. The fourth major league player in history to reach the milestone.

The blast against the Los Angeles Dodgers was one of two Pujols hits on the night. His 699th, a two-run shot off Andrew Heaney, came in the third. The 700th was a three-run blast on a breaking ball from Dodgers right-hander Phil Bickford that sent Pujols into the seats at Chavez Ravine in left field.

Pujols, 42, joined the team he made a name for himself this spring on a one-year deal. He had 679 homers that season. He had more than 21 in a season since 2018. By the time MLB called him an All-Star to commemorate his stellar career, he had just 683 homers — so far that it seemed like he’d need a dramatic boost to close it. . He entered Friday with a 1.022 on-base-plus-slugging percentage since hitting .310.

Pujols didn’t need 700 homers to become a surefire Hall of Famer, even though he’s in the slightly upper echelons right now. Only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth have more home runs to their names than Pujols. Bonds’ numbers are considered tainted by some. His legacy is controversial enough to keep him out of the Hall of Fame..

From May: A young manager in St. Louis leads the last of the Cardinals’ legends.

Only nine players Have more successes than Pujols. All but Pete Rose, They are in Cooperstown.. Only two players Ruth and Aaron More runs were scored.. He is the most prolific Dominican hitter in baseball history and the first to break the 700-homer mark.

Pujols’ push comes during an emotional season for the Cardinals. Longtime catcher Yadier Molina announced this will be his last season, meaning he and starter Adam Wainwright will also be chasing history together. In September, they made their 325th start, a record that has not been broken recently.

How Albert Pujols propelled himself to the 700 mark

While Wainwright has said he will continue to sing after this season, Cardinals fans are looking back on this season as the “last ride” of their three major title wins in 2006 and 2011. Wainwright and Molina stayed in St. Louis their entire careers. Pujols, meanwhile, went on a 10-year sabbatical in Anaheim — a period that wasn’t as productive as his early years with the Cardinals.

He made the all-star team nine times in his first outing with the Cardinals and once as a member of the Angels. He hit 40 homers six times as a member of the Cardinals and once as a member of the Angels. But whatever happened in St. Louis, it would have taken more from Pujols than what happened in Anaheim. As of this season, Pujols will not be able to regularly serve as the designated hitter with a National League team. Mann knows the wear and tear and struggle to keep him at first base could affect his ability to stay in the game this season. Despite the winding road to Busch Stadium, he kept everything the same.

And that way gives him one more chance at the title. The Cardinals entered Friday in control of the National League Central and will likely host one of the four playoff wild-card series in the first week of October. The three-time MVP has 19 postseason homers in his career, none of which count toward the 700 total. But now he doesn’t need anything more. The final push is over. He left no room for doubt.

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