Pujols passes Gehrig for 4th on all-time RBI list

April 27th, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- continues to zip past Yankee legends as he climbs the all-time RBI list.

The Angels' first baseman gave his club an early jolt with a two-run homer off Kansas City's Danny Duffy in the first inning on Friday that got the Angels off and running toward a 5-1 victory. That two-RBI blast moved Pujols past Lou Gehrig for fourth place on the all-time RBI list with 1,995. Last Saturday, Pujols passed Babe Ruth for fifth place and next up is Barry Bonds, who had 1,996 RBIs.

All-time RBI leaders, per the Elias Sports Bureau

  1. Hank Aaron: 2,297
  1. Alex Rodriguez: 2,086
  1. Barry Bonds: 1,996
  1. Albert Pujols: 1,995
  1. Lou Gehrig: 1,994

"It's going to be a parade of good names over the remainder of his career," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "Between Albert and Bonds, those were probably the two best guys I played against. He's one of the best right-handed hitters in the history of the game."

Pujols can take special satisfaction that his 430-foot homer, per Statcast, was a key part of the Angels' win.

Staked to the early lead, left-hander Tyler Skaggs made sure the Royals stayed at arm's length the rest of the night. Skaggs delivered five shutout innings while Kole Calhoun added a homer -- his third in as many games -- as the Angels built a five-run lead before the Royals finally broke the shutout in the ninth.

On a special night when Pujols got his 1,995th RBI, was at the other end of the spectrum. Rengifo picked up his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

"It's good that we got two runs on the board [in the first]," Pujols said. "We were able to stay with that lead and win the game. I was able to get a good pitch to hit and I had my best swing of the night."

According to Elias, the official statistician of Major League Baseball, the all-time leader in RBIs is Hank Aaron with 2,297. Aaron is followed by Alex Rodriguez, who has 2,086.

The RBI record book can be a bit confusing for a couple of reasons. For starters, RBIs did not become an official stat until 1920, which means that Elias does not consider Ruth and Cap Anson to be members of the 2,000-RBI club, even though they are listed as having reached that milestone on certain sites such as Baseball Reference, which retroactively includes all RBIs accrued prior to 1920. Per Elias, the only players to officially accrue 2,000 RBIs are Aaron and Rodriguez, with Pujols set to join them soon.

Additionally, due to the uncertain nature of record keeping in the early part of the 20th century, some discrepancies exist between the stats provided today by different historical data providers. For example, some sources list Gehrig as having 1,995 RBIs, while Elias has him at 1,994.

Pujols certainly appreciates the esteemed company that he is in.

"I don't take anything for granted," Pujols said. "Whether it's RBIs, home runs or batting average. ... Whatever it is, you have to credit all the guys who have been on base for me. It's not something you accomplish by yourself. There's a lot of things that have to go right.

"When I'm done playing, then I'll look back. You put the focus on the team. If you do that, everything else will fall into place."