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When Pujols makes history, he's never alone

@SlangsOnSports
September 13, 2020

Albert Pujols hit his 660th career home run on Sunday, tying Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list. But that wasn’t the only big thing to happen in baseball -- Alec Mills threw a no-hitter for the Cubs, the first of his career and the 16th in franchise history.

Albert Pujols hit his 660th career home run on Sunday, tying Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list. But that wasn’t the only big thing to happen in baseball -- Alec Mills threw a no-hitter for the Cubs, the first of his career and the 16th in franchise history.

Something new and exciting happens in baseball every day, but this is a concentrated cluster of historic events. If that feels familiar with Pujols, it’s because it is. This is not the first time Pujols has hit a major milestone on a day that already had its fair share of headlines.

On May 4, 2018, Pujols recorded his 3,000th career hit in a game in Seattle. On that same day, the Dodgers, led by Walker Buehler, threw a combined no-hitter against the Padres in a game at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey.

And it wasn't the first time Pujols shared the spotlight, either. On June 3, 2017, Pujols hit his 600th career homer off Ervin Santana, becoming the ninth player in the 600-home run club. He hit a grand slam for number 600, becoming the first of those nine players to do so. Also that day? You guessed it -- a no-hitter, by the Marlins’ Edinson Vólquez against the D-backs. For added historic fervor, Pujols’ grand slam was one of seven that day, setting a record for the most grand slams on a single day in baseball history.

Pujols came close to overlapping with another no-hitter in 2020 when he recorded his 2,088th career RBI, passing Alex Rodriguez for second on the RBI list since the stat became official in 1920. He did that on Aug. 24, and the next day, White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito threw the first no-hitter of the season. So close.

The next major milestone for Pujols would be his 661st home run, which would give him sole possession of fifth place. After that would be No. 696, with fourth place currently occupied by Rodriguez. At this rate, it feels like it’s worth expecting another no-hitter or otherwise historic event to happen on those days in the future, too.

Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.