On Sept. 23, 2022, Albert Pujols became only the fourth player in AL/NL history to reach the 700 home run club, cementing his place in history alongside Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. One of the premier hitters of all time, Pujols did so in his 22nd and final season in MLB after he retuned to play with the team that he was drafted by, the Cardinals.
As he chases history, here’s a look at all of Pujols’ milestone homers from his first to his 697th, listed in reverse chronological order.
700, for Cardinals at LAD, off Phil Bickford
A home run that was 22 years in the making, Pujols swatted his 700th home run on the same night he hit his 699th. In the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium, Pujols launched one deep to left field in similar fashion to his very first. He joined Hank Aaron as the only two players in AL/NL history who have recorded both 700 homers and 3,000 hits.
697, Sept. 11, 2022, for Cardinals at PIT, off Chase De Jong
Amid a renaissance season with the Cardinals, Pujols crushed his 18th home run of the season and 697th of his career to move past Alex Rodriguez for fourth place on the all-time home run list. And it was a clutch one. The historic long ball, a two-run shot in the ninth inning, led to a 4-3 Cardinals win.
661, Sept. 18, 2020, for Angels vs. TEX, off Wes Benjamin
Pujols took Rangers lefty Wes Benjamin deep to gain sole possession of fifth-place on baseball’s all-time home run list, passing Willie Mays. The 40-year-old slugger didn’t stop there. Two innings later, Pujols hit his 662nd home run.
600, June. 3, 2017, for Angels vs. MIN, off Ervin Santana
Pujols smashed a grand slam to left field to gain entry into one of Major League Baseball's most exclusive clubs, as he became only the ninth player to ever hit 600 home runs. Pujols became the first member of the 600-club to earn his membership via a grand slam.
500, April 22, 2014, for Angels at WSH, off Taylor Jordan
After an 0-for-5 outing the day before, Pujols told teammate Erick Aybar and FOX Sports West broadcaster Jose Mota that he’d go yard twice in that day’s game. Sure enough, Pujols homered twice in the Angels' 7-2 victory over the Nationals, becoming the 26th member of the 500-home run club and the first player to hit Nos. 499 and 500 on the very same day, just like he said he would.
400, Aug. 26, 2010, for Cardinals at WSH, off Jordan Zimmermann
A little over three years before hitting his 500th, Pujols’ 400th home run came in the same stadium, Nationals Park. At 30 years 222 days, Pujols became the third-youngest player to reach 400 homers behind Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr.
300, July 4, 2008, for Cardinals vs. Cubs, off Bob Howry
It was a familiar sight for Cardinals fans when Pujols took Howry deep for his 300th home run, as Pujols hit a total of 59 dingers against Cubs pitchers, the second-most he hit against a single team. The Astros, who Pujols has played against the most in his career by about 100 games, sits atop the list, as he hit 62 against Houston.
200, Sept. 30, 2005, for Cardinals vs. CIN, off Matt Belisle
With his 45th homer of the year, Pujols reached the 200-homer mark in grand style, swatting his fourth career grand slam and his first since 2002. In all, Pujols has hit 16 grand slams, which ranks tied for eighth all time.
100, July 20, 2003, for Cardinals at LAD, off Paul Quantrill
The first milestone homer of Pujols’ career came against a team he would briefly join in 2021. With the Dodgers, Pujols hit 12 home runs in 85 games and made the playoffs for the first time in seven years, hitting .294 across nine postseason games.
1, April 6, 2001, for Cardinals at ARI, off Armando Reynoso
In what was the first of many, many homers, Pujols took one deep to left in his fourth career game. Little did we know at the time that Reynoso would be the first of over 450 pitchers that Pujols would leave the yard against.