Albert Pujols: The modern day legend latest to join the 3,000 hit club
On May 4, 2018 Albert Pujols became only the 32nd Major League player to reach the hallowed 3,000-hit milestone. Amassed over an 18-year career, this accomplishment speaks to Pujols' consistency and production. He also joins Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez as the only players to have reached both 600 home runs – which Albert achieved last season – and 3,000 hits. He's only the second player born in the Dominican Republic to reach that milestone following Adrian Beltre. Congratulations Albert!
No. 1 | April 2, 2001 – After breaking camp with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pujols would make his major league debut on Opening Day of the 2001 season against the Colorado Rockies after just a year in the minor leagues. Starting in left field and batting sixth, Pujols drilled a hard grounder through the middle off Mike Hampton in the seventh inning for his first MLB hit.
No. 1,000 | April 21, 2006 – With five big league season's already under his belt, Pujols entered the day tied with Mark McGwire for the franchise record of home runs hit in the month of April and also one hit shy of 1,000. It did not take long Pujols to claim both. In the bottom of the first, he crushed a two-run homer off Cubs starter Jerome Williams to claim both. On that day, Pujols tied Todd Helton as the second-fastest active player to reach 1,000 hits, needing just 3,003 at-bats. He and the Cardinals would go on to become World Series Champions that season.
No. 2,000 | July 29, 2011 – Like his 1,000th hit, Pujols' 2,000th hit came against the Cardinals' longtime rival Chicago Cubs. In the bottom of the eighth with two outs and a runner on second, Pujols lined reliever Carlos Marmol's third pitch down the left field line for a run-scoring double. He would go on to win his second World Series that October, defeating the Detroit Tigers.
No. 3,000 | May 4, 2018 – Seven years after his 2,000th hit Pujols, now a member of the Los Angeles Angels, reached the exclusive 3,000 hit club with a single to right field off Mariners pitcher Mike Leake. He would later go on to collect another hit in the ninth bringing his total to 3,001; passing Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente for 31st place on the all-time hits list.