Albert Pujols joined the 600-home run club on Saturday night, and he did it in a way that’s never been done before: via a spectacular, 363-foot grand slam.
The Angels’ 37-year-old slugger delivered his record-setting blast in the fourth inning of Saturday’s game against the Twins, skying a pitch from Ervin Santana into the left field bleachers. No one begrudged him the long moment he took to admire the ball as it drifted back over the wall. It was a moment he — along with an estimated 40,236 Angels fans — deserved to savor.
Pujols is the ninth major leaguer with at least 600 home runs, joining Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Alex Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612) and Sammy Sosa (609). Of the nine legends, two reached the 600-homer club via solo shot, five by two-run homers, one by a three-run blast, and now, thanks to Pujols, just one by grand slam.
It’ll take Pujols another nine home runs to tie Sammy Sosa for eighth-most among major league hitters and 12 to tie Jim Thome for seventh-most. Thome was the last addition to the club before Pujols’ historic blast on Saturday, reaching No. 600 back in 2011 against the Tigers. Miguel Cabrera, meanwhile, is next in line for the elusive milestone, with just 451 career home runs to date.