Albert Pujols became the 26th member of the 500 home run club Tuesday night.
Pujols became the first player to hit his 499th and 500th home runs in the same game, driving in five runs in a 7-2 rout of the Washington Nationals.
“It tastes better with a win,” Pujols said. “I knew this year, it was going to happen, whether it was tonight, tomorrow, two months from now. So my goal was just to prepare myself every day to try to help this organization win.”
At 34 years and 96 days, Pujols became the third youngest player to reach the 500 home run mark, behind Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx.
After getting off to a career-worse start last season, Pujols has hit eight home runs this season, all in the past 13 games.
“To have more than 19,000 players who wore a big league uniform and to have only 26 players to do this, it’s pretty special,” Pujols said.
Pujols hit his first career home run in 2001 against Armando Reynoso of the Arizona Diamondbacks and hit 408 home runs in his first ten MLB seasons, the most in history.
He is also the first player to hit 30-or-more home runs in his first 12 seasons. He has homered in 36 different ball parks and homered against 29 of 30 MLB teams.
Pujols hit the first 445 home runs of his career as member of the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he played from 2001-2011.
He won the World Series with the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011, and was a three-time Most Valuable Player with St. Louis before signing a 10-year, $254 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels in 2011.