One of the best hitters in Major League Baseball has eclipsed another prestigious milestone. Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols recently went over the 2,000 RBI mark for his career in Thursday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. He recorded RBI No. 2,000 with a solo home run in the third inning. It makes him one of five players in history to join the 2,000 RBI club. Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Cap Anson, and Alex Rodriguez are the other members
Albert Pujols Passes Elite Milestone
There is no denying Pujols’ place in history as one of the best hitters to play MLB. He captured the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year award and won three MVP awards with the St. Louis Cardinals.
From 2001-12, Pujols hit at least 30 home runs every season and eclipsed 40 home runs four times. During that time, he added seven top-five MVP finishes and another top-10 finish to his three winning seasons. Pujols was a key contributor for the Cardinals in the postseason and helped the team win World Series titles in 2006-11.
In addition to joining the 2,000 RBI club, Pujols is also a member of the ultra-exclusive 600 home run club. He is one of nine players with 600 or more home runs, but he is one of just four players with 600 home runs and 2,000 RBI. Aaron, Rodriguez, and Ruth are the other members. The grouping gets even smaller when factoring in Pujols’ 3,000 hits. Aaron, Rodriguez, and Pujols are the only three to eclipse 600 home runs, 3,000 hits, and 2,000 RBI in a career.
Albert Pujols – All-Time Great
No matter how you look at the numbers, Pujols is one of the best to ever play the game. He now ranks fifth in RBI, sixth in home runs, 22nd in hits, and 31st for career WAR. His three MVP Awards are also tied for second-most all-time with a handful of others behind Barry Bonds and his seven MVP Awards.
There’s no denying Pujols has been on a steady decline since his arrival with the Angels, but he is undoubtedly one of the all-time greats this game has ever seen. Barring a crazy turn of events, Albert Pujols should be well on his way to Cooperstown when he eventually retires.
(Statistical note: The Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s official stat keeper, does not count RBI that occurred before 1920 when the league recognized it as an official statistic. Consequently, they list Babe Ruth’s RBI total as 1,992 and do not have one at all for Cap Anson, who played from 1871 to 1897. However, Baseball Reference, Fan Graphs, and Baseball Almanac do, since records of all games played prior to 1920 do exist. Their numbers for Ruth and Anson vary, however. BR lists Ruth’s total as 2,214, BA lists it as 2,213, and FG lists it as 2,217. BR lists Anson’s total as 2,075, while FG lists it total as 2,076. BA, however, lists it as 1879, since they do not count games played before the establishment of the National League in 1876.)
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