MINNEAPOLIS -- The novelty of milestones has likely worn off for Jose Pujols by now, but the one he reached on Sunday afternoon was different.Pujols collected his 1,952nd career RBI in the first inning of the Angels' 7-5 loss to the Twins at Target Field, passing fellow Cardinals great Stan
MINNEAPOLIS -- The novelty of milestones has likely worn off for Jose Pujols by now, but the one he reached on Sunday afternoon was different.
Pujols collected his 1,952nd career RBI in the first inning of the Angels' 7-5 loss to the Twins at Target Field, passing fellow Cardinals great Stan Musial for sole possession of sixth place on the all-time list.
The top 5 is as follows: Hank Aaron (2,297 RBIs), Babe Ruth (2,213), Alex Rodriguez (2,086), Barry Bonds (1,996) and Lou Gehrig (1,995).
Pujols opened the scoring by driving in Ian Kinsler from third with a single to shallow center field. Pujols immediately motioned for the ball, which he plans to give to the Musial family. It was a meaningful moment for Pujols, who forged a special bond with Musial during his 11 seasons in St. Louis and grew to revere the Hall of Famer.
"In St. Louis, Stan was a hero for everybody," Pujols said. "Getting to St. Louis and getting drafted by the organization, I grew up and learned about the history and what kind of man he was. It was pretty special that the Lord allowed me to spend some time with him before he left this earth. He made a big impact in my life."
Pujols, 38, tied Musial with a solo home run off Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson on Saturday.
"Yesterday, when I tied him, I was pretty emotional," Pujols said. "I tried not to show it too much because we still had to play a baseball game. And then today to be able to pass him, I don't have any words to describe it. Everything that I wore pretty much and both of the baseballs are going to go to his family, because I believe that they deserve that."
Pujols added two more RBIs with a two-out single in the ninth to bring his career total to 1,954. He is one shy of tying Gehrig (1,995).
"Albert has the utmost respect for what Stan Musial was about," manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday. "Not only on the field, but he was a man of great character off the field. I know those two had a chance to spend a lot of time together when he was in St. Louis. He respects his legacy tremendously, so for him to be in the same sentence as Stan Musial, I know it's a nice feeling for Albert."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.