ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki will always be linked, as they both burst onto the scene in 2001, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in their respective leagues. Pujols has been known more for his power over his 19-year career, but he passed Ichiro on the career
ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki will always be linked, as they both burst onto the scene in 2001, winning the Rookie of the Year Award in their respective leagues. Pujols has been known more for his power over his 19-year career, but he passed Ichiro on the career hits list on Sunday with his 3,090th hit, which ranks 22nd all time.
In the Angels' 7-2 victory over Texas, Pujols singled to right field to lead off the third inning against right-hander Shelby Miller to pass Ichiro, who racked up 3,089 hits over his 19-year career with the Mariners, Yankees and Marlins. Pujols has long admired Ichiro and spoke glowingly about him during Spring Training, when Ichiro retired after playing in the Japan Series with the Mariners against the A’s.
“Obviously, a great career, a future Hall of Famer,” Pujols said on March 21. “It's really amazing what he was able to accomplish -- not just in Japan but also here at this level in the big leagues. I'm honored to say that I came up around the same time and we both won Rookie of the Year. It's an amazing, amazing career. I'm really happy to him."
Pujols, 39, has already reached several milestones, including 600 homers -- he has 634 in his career -- and his next one will be reaching 2,000 RBIs, as he has 1,984 in his career, the most among active players. Pujols had 2,073 hits, 455 homers and 1,329 RBIs in his 11 years with the Cardinals and has 1,017 hits, 189 homers and 655 RBIs in his eight seasons with the Halos.
"That’s impressive," Angels center fielder Mike Trout said. "Obviously, Ichiro had an unbelievable amount of hits. It seems like every day Albert is passing somebody. I was joking with Noé [Ramirez after he caught Pujols' homer in his hat Saturday]: 'Why did you give that ball to a fan? He just passed Babe Ruth or something.' It seems like every day he passes a Hall of Famer."
Pujols has won three National League MVP Awards, a batting title and has been an All-Star 10 times. Ichiro won the American League MVP Award as a rookie in 2001, won two batting titles and was also a 10-time All-Star.
Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.