Angels slugger and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols had a night to remember during the club’s 6-5 loss to the Mariners on Saturday. In the bottom of the third inning, he lined a double off of Yusei Kikuchi and scored Andrelton Simmons for the Angels’ first run of the night, then returned in the ninth with a 436-foot solo shot off of Anthony Swarzak.
The two-RBI performance bumped Pujols’ career total to 1,993 — and, unsurprisingly, placed him in some pretty rare company. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the veteran slugger surpassed Babe Ruth’s career RBI total of 1,992. Only Hank Aaron (2,297), Álex Rodríguez (2,086), Barry Bonds (1,996), and Lou Gehrig (1,995) sit above him on the all-time list now.
As MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger pointed out, however, there’s some dispute about Ruth’s real RBI total. Elias Sports Bureau doesn’t count the 224 RBI Ruth racked up between 1914 and 1919, as the league didn’t start keeping official track of players’ runs batted in until 1920. Baseball Reference, among other sites, does retroactively count those RBI as legitimate, giving the Bambino a much more impressive total of 2,214 RBI across his 22-season career in the majors — good enough for second-most among all MLB players.
Still, the difference between fifth-most RBI and seventh-most RBI is fairly slight and should in no way diminish Pujols’ incredible accomplishments over the last two decades. He needs just two more runs batted in to overtake Lou Gehrig’s indisputable 1,995 total and three to eclipse Barry Bonds’ 1,996 RBI, both records he’s likely to break by the time the Angels conclude their series against the Mariners on Sunday afternoon.