Albert Pujols has 500 homers -- and these five were absolutely blasted
Albert Pujols made his Major League debut on April 2, 2001, playing left field against the Colorado Rockies. Pujols was 21 at the time and had risen quickly through St. Louis' farm system after being selected in the 13th round of the '99 Draft, but he wasn't even regarded as the Cardinals' top prospect, let alone a future star.
4,768 days later, Pujols mashed his 499th and 500th career long balls on Tuesday, becoming just the 26th player to join the 500-homer club.
And to think, it all started so innocently with this bomb off Armando Reynoso on April 6, '01:
But that's not why we're here today. No, in honor of Pujols' 500th home run, we're taking a look at some his longest dingers -- the blasts that truly tested Earth's gravitational field and mankind's ability to measure distance. Today, we'll examine the home runs that made even tater-obsessed fans sit back and say, "Yeah, that'll do just fine."
Using Home Run Tracker's true distance information (an estimate of how far the ball would travel if unimpeded by things like walls and scoreboards), here are Pujols' five longest home runs since 2006:
5. 461 feet off Gil Meche -- June 21, 2009
4. 462 feet off Ramon Ortiz -- September 4, 2006
3. 463 feet off Manny Parra -- May 9, 2008
2. 465 feet off Randy Johnson -- June 30, 2009
1. April 22, 2007 -- 469 feet off Ryan Dempster
Of course, no Pujols homer mixtape is complete without mention of his absolute moonshot against Brad Lidge in the 2005 NLCS. That particular blast went 455 feet in Earth distance, but 455 miles in the memories of Cardinals fans.
And Albert's 500th blast? Yeah, that was a not-too-shabby 430 feet.