As St. Louis Cardinals great Albert Pujols rounded the bases at Dodger Stadium for the second time Friday night, his emotions were obvious.
Pujols, who hit home runs No. 699 and 700 Friday, became just the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to hit 700 in a career, joining Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth.
Pujols’ historic home run came in the fourth inning against Dodgers pitcher Phil Bickford, and the three-time MVP clearly understood the enormity of the moment.
ALBERT PUJOLS HITS 700TH HOME RUN, BECOMING FOURTH PLAYER IN MLB HISTORY TO REACH FEAT
“I didn’t control them,” Pujols said of his emotions after the game, according to MLB.com “If you see the video of the homer, I went down into the tunnel, and that’s when I let my emotions out.”
Of the four members of the 700-home run club, only Pujols hit 699 and 700 in the same game.
“It’s pretty special,” Pujols said, according to ESPN. “When it’s really gonna hit me is when I’m done, at the end of the season, when I’m retired, and probably a moment or two after that I can look at the numbers.
CARDINALS’ ALBERT PUJOLS STILL STUCK ON HOME RUN NO. 698, BREAKS UP PADRES NO-HIT BID
“Look, don’t get me wrong, I know what my place is in this game. But, since day one, when I made my debut, it was never about numbers, it was never about chasing numbers. It was always about winning championships and trying to get better in this game. And I had so many people that taught me the right way early in my career, and that’s how I’ve carried myself for 22 years that I’ve been in the big leagues. That’s why I really don’t focus on the numbers. I will one day, but not right now.”
Pujols returned to the Cardinals after spending the last 10 years of his career in Los Angeles with the Angels and the Dodgers. He returned to St. Louis, where it all started, and where he won two championships and his three MVPs in his first 11 MLB seasons.
Pujols has announced that his 22nd season in baseball will be his last, capping an incredible career that will likely culminate in him becoming a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
He’s given fans of baseball one last incredible year, solidifying himself as one of the all-time greats.