Angels' Albert Pujols becomes 32nd player in MLB history to reach 3,000-hit milestone
Pujols accomplished the historic feat on Friday in Seattle
The 3,000 hit club has a new member.
Friday night, Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols became the 32nd player in baseball history record 3,000 career hits. The milestone hit was a broken-bat single to right field against Mariners starter Mike Leake.
The 38-year-old Pujols is only the second player born in the Dominican Republic to reach 3,000 career hits, joining Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. Pujols is the sixth player born outside the United States to reach 3,000 hits, joining Beltre, Rod Carew (Panama), Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico), Rafael Palmeiro (Cuba), and Ichiro Suzuki (Japan).
Furthermore, Pujols is only the fourth player in history with 3,000 hits and 600 home runs. Here's the list:
- Hank Aaron: 755 home runs and 3,771 hits
- Willie Mays: 660 home runs and 3,283 hits
- Alex Rodriguez: 696 home runs and 3,115 hits
- Albert Pujols: 620 home runs and 3,000 hits
Pujols was of course drafted and developed by the St. Louis Cardinals before signing with the Angels as a free agent in December 2011. He broke in with the Cardinals in 2001 and was immediately an impact player, hitting .329/.403/.610 (157 OPS+) with 37 home runs and 130 RBI as a rookie. That earned him NL Rookie of the Year honors unanimously. Pujols recorded 2,073 of his 3,000 career hits with St. Louis.
During his peak from 2003-10, Pujols was simply one of the most devastating offensive forces in baseball history, hitting .334/.433/.635 (177 OPS+) and averaging 42 home runs and 122 RBI per season. He's a three-time MVP, a two-time World Series champion, and a no-doubt first ballot Hall of Famer who will go down as one of the best right-handed hitters in history.
Who will be next to join the 3,000 hit club? Likely Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera is sitting on 2,666 career hits and is figures to reach the milestone in either late 2019 or early 2020, assuming good health.
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