Played for Dominican Republic in inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic...2006 winner of the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Also nominated by his teammates in 2004 and 2005...Graduated in 1998 from Fort Osage High School in Independence, Missouri...Twice earned all-state honors in baseball...Earned a baseball scholarship to Maple Woods College in Kansas City, Missouri...At age 16, moved with his father from Dominican Republic to Kansas City...Became U.S. citizen Feb. 7, 2007, in a ceremony at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis...After the 2011 World Series, was recognized with his own Wheaties cereal box cover...In a poll at ESPN’s website, voters selected “Winnie the Pujols” over “Phat Albert” as Chris Berman’s best nickname for Albert. Others include “The Machine” and “Prince Albert.”...Favorite sport after baseball is basketball...Grew up watching Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls...Originally signed by Cardinals scout Dave Karaff...He has five children: Isabella, Sophia, Ester, Alberto Jr. (A.J.), and Ezra...Resides in St. Louis, Missouri.
Philanthropic Efforts: 2008 Roberto Clemente Award winner in recognition of his outstanding play on the field and tireless work in the community. Also nominated in 2003...Traveled to Israel during the 2016 offseason and visited the new Shalva National Children’s Center, which is worldly renowned for providing state-of-the-art care and community outreach services of families with special needs children in Israel, including those with Down Syndrome...Donated annual funds to the Angels Baseball Foundation...Started Pujols Family Foundation in 2005. Foundation is dedicated to the love, care and development of people with Down Syndrome and also reaches out to impoverished families in the Dominican Republic...Hosted annual Albert Pujols Celebrity Golf Classics to benefit Pujols Family Foundation...Also active in the Strike Out Slavery campaign. Created Strike Out Slavery in 2017 after learning that modern slavery is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world...As part of ongoing awareness efforts, he teamed up with singer/songwriter Nick Jonas for postgame benefit concerts at Angel Stadium...Makes annual visits to the Dominican Republic and donates time and resources to several causes...His $70,000 award from Major League Baseball Players Trust went toward The Albert Pujols Wellness Center for Adults with Down Syndrome at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chesterfield, MO which opened in 2009...In Sept. 2015 partnered with Clayton Kershaw to host a charity whiffle ball game at Angel Stadium.
Played in a combined 109 games between both LA clubs, batting .236 (65-275) with 17 home runs and 50 RBI...His 17 home runs tied his lowest total in a non-COVID shortened season (also 17 HR in 99 games in 2013)...The Dodgers and Angels were 61-48 (.560) in games which he played and 34-20 (.630) in games during which he recorded a hit...Batted .301 (22-73) with runners in scoring position, the 14th season in his career batting over .300 w/RISP...Hit .294/.336/.603 with 13 home runs and 34 RBI with a .939 OPS in his 146 plate appearances versus left-handed pitching...Ranked among MLB leaders against left-handed pitching in homers (13, T-10th), slugging (.603, T-11th), and RBI (34, T-12th)...Began the season with the Angels, but was designated for assignment on 5/6, cleared waivers on 5/13, and signed as a free agent by the Dodgers on 5/17...Batted .254/.299/.460 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 85 games with the Dodgers...Batted .378/.415/.541 (14-37) with a .955 OPS as a pinch hitter with the Dodgers...Was on the COVID-19 list for one day (9/28) during the second-to-last series of the season...Passed Willie Mays (3,283) into 11th place on the all-time hit leaderboard at Colorado (7/17)...Collected his 61st career multi-home run game vs. Arizona (7/10) as part of a 22-1 rout at Dodger Stadium...Passed Babe Ruth (1,356) in extra-base hits vs. San Francisco (5/30) on his 8th home run of the season...Hit only three doubles, the fewest in a season in his career, including the COVID-19 shortened season when he hit eight...Returned to St. Louis (9/7) and homered off J.A. Happ in his first at-bat as a National League player at Busch Stadium since departing the Cardinals...Was his only hit of the series (1-for-7) against his former club and was also his last home run of the regular season.
2021 POSTSEASON: Went 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter in the Wild Card Game against St. Louis, flying out to deep center in the bottom of the ninth inning...started Game 3 on the NLDS vs. SF and went 2-for-2 while recording his first postseason hit since 2014...at age 41.268, became the oldest Dodger in franchise history to record a postseason hit, surpassing Manny Mota (40) in Game 3 of the 1978 NLCS, and the oldest player with a multi-hit postseason game since Julio Franco (45.042) in 2003 NLDS Game 4)...his three hits in the NLCS vs. Atlanta gave him 47 for his career, surpassing Pete Rose atop the all-time NL list.
Completed 20th big league season and ninth with the Angels...Connected for six home runs on the season...662 career home runs are good for fifth all-time...Homered twice Sept. 18 vs. Texas...First home run was career number 661, passing Willie Mays (660) for fifth place on the all-time home run list...Drove in 2,087th RBI on Aug. 24, moving passed Alex Rodriguez (2,086) for second on the all-time list (since RBI became official stat in 1920-ELIAS)...Hit 669th career double on Sept. 12 passing Craig Biggio for 5th all-time... With his double on Sept. 2, reached 5,900 career total bases becoming the fifth player all-time to reach that mark joining Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Willie Mays and Barry Bonds...Became fifth player all-time to make an Opening Day start in each of his first 20 seasons, joining: Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski, Eddie Murray & Frank Robinson
In 19th big league season, saw an increase over 2018 numbers in nearly every offensive category including hits, doubles, home runs, RBI, walks, runs, games, slugging and OBP...Drove in 2,000th career RBI May 9th...According to Elias, is just the third player ever to reach the 2,000 RBI plateau, joining Hank Aaron (2,297) and Alex Rodriguez (2,086)...Hit on June 20th marked the 3,167th of career, passing Adrian Beltre for 15th all-time and establishing a new record for hits by a foreign-born player...Notched 200th home run as a Halo on June 20th...Became the sixth player all time to record at least 200 home runs with multiple teams...Tallied 100th home run at Angel Stadium on July 27, 2019 and joined Frank Robinson and Mark McGwire as the only players to tally 100 homers at a ballpark in both leagues.
In the midst of 18th big league season and seventh with the Angels, became the 32nd member of the 3,000 hit club...Singled in the fifth inning May 4th at Safeco Field to reach the plateau… At 38 years, 108 days, is the 10th youngest player to reach the 3,000 hit mark (STATS LLC)... Was the sixth foreign born player to accomplish the feat and second player to log 3,000th hit in an Angels uniform (Rod Carew)...Joined Adrián Beltré as the only natives of the Dominican Republic to reach the 3,000 hit plateau... Became the 12th player to reach the milestone in their first 18 seasons...Joined Stan Musial and Alex Rodriguez as only players with 3+ MVP Awards and 3,000 hits... Tallied 1,000th hit as an Angel Aug. 10th…Joined Dave Winfield, Frank Robinson, Vladimir Guerrero, Fred McGriff, Carlos Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano as one of nine players to amass 1,000 hits in both leagues...Is the 12th player in franchise history to reach the 1,000-hit mark. Finished the season with 19 home runs...Joined Barry Bonds, Eddie Murray and Frank Robinson as the only players in baseball history to record at least 15 home runs in each of his first 18 big league seasons... Missed final 29 games of the season following left knee surgery... Went 10-day D.L. Aug. 30 (retro to the 29th)...Also missed six games in July with left knee inflammation.
Became the ninth member of the 600 home run club during 17th big league season and sixth with the Angels...Connected for career home run 600 at Angel Stadium on June 3 vs. Minnesota...Became the fourth youngest player to reach the milestone...Home run came as a grand slam off Ervin Santana...According to STATS, was the first player ever whose 500th, 600th or 700th home run came as a grand slam ... Hit 610th career home run Aug. 22, passing Sammy Sosa for eighth on baseball's all-time list and most ever for by a foreign-born player ... Finished season with 23 home runs, becoming just the third player ever to tally 20+ home runs in 16 of fi rst 17 seasons: Hank Aaron (16 times) and Willie Mays (16 times) ... Drove in 101 RBI which paced the Club and ranked ninth in the A.L...Reached the century mark in RBI for the 14th time in career, joining Alex Rodriguez as the only players in Major League history to drive in 100 runs 14 ti mes... With RBI on Apr. 28, passed Rafael Palmeiro (1,835) for the most career RBI by a player born outside the U.S.
In fifth season with the Angels and 16th in the Majors, finished third in the American League with 119 RBI...The RBI were the most driven in since 2010...Eclipsed the century mark in RBI for the 13th ti me in career and joined Alex Rodriguez (14 ti mes), Jimmie Foxx (13), Lou Gehrig (13) and Babe Ruth (13) as the only players to amass 100 RBI in 13 diff erent seasons...Tagged a team-leading 31 home runs to push career home run total to 591, good for ninth on baseball's all-ti me list... Reached the 30-home-run mark for the 14th ti me…Is just the fourth player all-ti me with 14, 30+ homer campaigns: Alex Rodriguez (15), Hank Aaron (15) and Barry Bonds (14)… Became the fi rst to accomplish the feat in 14 of his fi rst 16 seasons.After opening the season batti ng .219 with 10 home runs and 33 RBI in fi rst 48 games, went on to hit .290 with 21 home runs and 86 RBI in last 104 ti lts since…Was one of three players in the Majors in that stretch to hit .290 with 15 home runs and 85 RBI: Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez...Led the Majors with 31 RBI in July…Was just the fi ft h ti me in career driving in 30+ runs in a month and fi rst since June 2009 (35)…Marked just the 10th ti me in franchise history an Angel tallied 30 RBI in a single month and fi rst since Kendrys Morales (33) in August of 2009.
Completed 15th big league season, fourth with the Angels, batting .244 (147-for-602) with 85 runs scored, 22 doubles, 40 home runs and 95 RBIs in 157 games.
Tallied 40 homers to push career total to 560, good for 14th on baseball's all-time list... Throughout the season, passed Manny Ramirez (555), Mike Schmidt (548), Mickey Mantle (536), Jimmie Foxx (534), Willie McCovey (521), Frank Thomas (521) and Ted Williams (521) for career homers. 40 home runs were tied for fifth in the A.L. and ranked second on the Club (Trout, 41 HR)... Marked highest single-season total since 2010 (42 HR w/ St. Louis) and was the seventh time during career reaching the plateau, making him one of eight players to accomplish the feat seven different times... Additionally, is the only player in Major League history to tally 14, 25-home run campaigns in their first 15 big league seasons.
Reached the 90-RBI mark for the 14th time during career, becoming the fourth player all-time with at least 14, 90-RBI seasons, joining Hank Aaron (16 times), Babe Ruth (14) and Alex Rodriguez (14)... Is the only player to do so in their first 15 seasons.
Hit .255 (83/325) with 12 doubles, 26 home runs and 56 RBIs en route to 10th career All-Star Game nomination and first as an Angel... Marked fourth time of career tallying at least 26 home runs before the Midsummer Classic... The 26 home runs tied an Angels franchise record for homers before the break. He and Mike Trout were just the fourth pair of teammates to log 25 home runs before the All-Star break and first since Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez did so for the Mariners in 1998. Posted a .303 (30-for-99) clip with four doubles, 13 home runs and 26 RBIs in June... Hit 13 home runs in June, tying the Angels franchise record for most homers hit in a single month (Mo Vaughn; 13 in May 2000 and Tim Salmon; 13 in June 1996)... Only struck out eight times in 99 at-bats, marking just the seventh time since 1914 a player hit at least 13 homers in a month and struck out eight or fewer times (second such occurrence for Pujols)... Tabbed as the A.L. Player of the Month.
ALL-STAR GAME AND HOME RUN DERBY
Went 0-for-2 during the All-Star Game in Cincinnati with a run scored and a walk... Started the game at first base for the A.L… Was 10th career All-Star Game and first since 2010 with St. Louis… Replaced Miguel Cabrera as the starting first baseman… Started the Midsummer Classic for the eighth time in career… Is the 16th player to start a game for both the A.L. and N.L. and fourth first baseman to do so. Participated in the Home Run Derby for the fourth ti me in his career: 2003, 2007 and 2009... Combined to hit 21 home runs in the first and second rounds of the Derby…Eliminated the Cubs' Kris Bryant in the first round before falling to the Dodgers' Joc Pederson in the second round.
Stole career base 100 July 26 to become one of 12 players all-time with 500 career home runs and 100 stolen bases: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa, Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt and Mickey Mantle.
In third season with Angels, 14-year veteran batted .272 (172/633) with 89 runs, 37 doubles, one triple, 28 home runs and 105 RBI in 159 games...With 28 home runs, pushed career total to 520, 21st on MLB all-time list...Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas are tied for 18th with 521 home runs...Hit 499th and 500th career home runs April 22 at Washington (both off RHP Taylor Jordan)...One of 26 MLB players to reach 500 homers, first ever to hit #499 & #500 in same game (also hit #400 at Nationals Park)...According to ELIAS, at 34 years and 96 days, is third youngest player in MLB history to reach 500 home runs...Only player since 1901 with 13 campaigns of 25+ home runs in first 14 seasons of career...12th player in history with 500 home runs, 500 doubles and 1,500 RBI: Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Eddie Murray, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez...Became one of five players with 12 or more 100 RBI campaigns before age-35 season: Alex Rodriguez - 14, Jimmie Foxx - 13, Lou Gehrig - 12, Al Simmons - 12....Owns 1,603 RBI - just third player since 1901 to drive in 1600 runs in first 14 seasons (Lou Gehrig and Al Simmons)...1,603 RBI rank 33rd on all-time list, six shy of Goose Goslin for 32nd (1609)...Collected career hit 2,500 Sept. 6 at Minnesota...One of 12 MLB players since 1901 to accomplish feat in first 14 seasons...Scored 1,500th career run in third inning Sept. 6...Became 70th player to reach mark, just one of two actives (Alex Rodriguez)...Since 1901, only 10 players have reached mark in age 34 or younger season: Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle, Rickey Henderson, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron...16th player in MLB history with 2,500 hits, 1,500 runs and 500 home runs and just fourth to do so before age-35 season: (Alex Rodriguez, Hank Aaron and Jimmie Foxx)...With 37 doubles in 2014, his 561 career doubles are tied for 23rd all-time with Jeff Kent and Eddie Murray...Only player since 1901 to tally 550 career doubles in first 14 seasons...2014 marked 12th season of career with 20+ home runs and 30+ doubles, tied with Manny Ramirez for most in MLB history...Logged 16th career walk-off hit (second with Angels) with a solo home run in 19th inning Aug. 9 vs. Boston...Marked latest walk-off home run in Angels history...Marked first walk-off home run as an Angel and 11th of career...Was 35th career game-tying or go-ahead homer in 8th inning or later...Led A.L. with 33 go-ahead RBI in 2014...His 19 game-winning RBI fell two shy of club record club of 21 by Don Baylor in 1979...997 fielding pct. at first base led A.L. and tied Angels single-season record by a first baseman (min. 100 games started).
Played 13th MLB season and second with Angels, batting .258 (101/391) with 49 runs, 19 doubles, 17 home runs and 64 RBI in 99 games…Missed final 62 games of the season after going on the 15-day DL on July 28 (retro to July 27) with a partial tear of the left plantar fascia (did not undergo surgery)...Marked fourth career DL stint, first since 2011...Hit .339 (20/59) with four home runs and 15 RBI in final 15 games before going on DL... Injury limited him to career lows in games played, average, hits, runs, doubles, home runs and RBI...Did not reach 30 HR for first time in his career... Collected 1,000th career extra-base hit on April 10, becoming 35th player in ML history to accomplish feat…According to Elias, he took fifth-fewest at-bats in ML history (6,944 AB) to reach the milestone... Collected 15th career walk-off hit and first as an Angel on April 13 vs. Houston...Singled on 4th of July against Cardinals, giving him a hit against every Major League team... Including postseason (18 HR) and regular season (482 HR), launched his 500th all-time home run May 16 vs. White Sox.
Played 12th MLB season and first with Angels, batting .285 (173-for-607) with 50 doubles, 30 HRs and 105 RBIs...Finished in AL's top 10 in several offensive categories including: doubles (2nd), RBIs (8th), slugging (.516, 10th), multihit games (54, T9), total bases (313, T7) and extra-base hits (80, 3rd)...Led Halos with 154 games played...Hit at least 30 home runs for the 12th straight season, the only player in ML history to log 30+ HRs in his first 12 seasons and one of four players to hit at least 30 home runs in 12 straight seasons at any point of their career: Barry Bonds, 13, 1992-2004; Alex Rodriguez, 13, 1998-2010; Jimmie Foxx, 12, 1929-1940...Enters 2013 with 475 career HRs, tied with Stan Musial and Willie Stargell for 28th all-time...2012 marked third season of career (also, 2003 and 2004) with 30+ HRs and 50+ 2Bs, becoming the only player in ML history to accomplish the feat three times in a career (STATS LLC)...50 doubles are the second highest single-season total by an Angel in franchise history (Garret Anderson, 56 in 2002) and most ever by an Angels right-handed hitter...After posting a season-low .190 average with one home run and nine RBIs through May 8, went on to hit .309 (150-for-486) with 29 home runs and 96 RBIs over his next 124 G...After Mike Trout's call up on April 28, drove in 101 runs with Trout scoring 39 of them (39 percent)...Drove in at least 100 runs for 11th time in 12 professional seasons...Since 2001, has logged 1,434 RBIs, the most by any Major Leaguer in the span...Collected 1,400 career RBIs on Aug. 1, becoming just the fourth player in MLB history to reach 1,400 RBIs in his first 12 campaigns (Joe DiMaggio, Al Simmons and Lou Gehrig)...Hit first HR as an Angel on May 6...The homer snapped a career-long single-season 110 at-bat homerless drought...Marked first regular season home run since Sept. 22, 2011, a span of 33 games and 139 at-bats...Earned AL Player of the Week honors for the period ending Aug. 5, his 12th career Player of the Week award...Hit safely in all seven games, batting .424 (14-for-33) with five doubles, six home runs, nine runs and 13 RBIs...Finished season tied for the Major League lead with 19 game-winning RBIs...Hit 500th double of his career on Sept. 22 vs. Chicago, becoming one of 19 players all-time with 500+ doubles and 400+ HRs...Drew career walk number 1,000 on June 24, just one of 12 active players with 1,000 free passes...On June 12, became one of just seven active players with 4,000 career total bases.
In 2011, his 11th MLB season with St. Louis, ranked among N.L. leaders in several categories despite missing time on D.L. with a fracture in his left radius at the wrist (disabled 6/20-7/4)...Ranked 3rd in HRs (37), T3rd in runs (105), 7th in RBI (99), 9th in hits (173) and 7th in SLG (.541)...Fell just shy of his 11th-consecutive season with a .300+ average (.299) and 100 RBI (99)...Marked his 11th consecutive season with 30+ HR - only player in M.L. history to begin career with 11-straight 30+ homer seasons...After All-Star Break, hit .319 with 19 HR & 49 RBI...Had a MLB best 40-game onbase streak (8/11-9/25)...10th time in 11 seasons he reached 100-run plateau...Collected 2,000th hit, a double on July 29 vs. Cubs, 12th-quickest player to 2,000 hits, taking 1,650 games...N.L. Player of Week 5/30-6/5 - hit five HR's in the week...Had walk-off HRs June 4 & June 5 vs. Cubs...Homered in four-straight games (5 HRs total) June 3-7...Hit 465 ft. HR Aug. 14 vs. Colorado, longest HR ever at Busch Stadium III... Went 4-4 with two HRs and five RBI including a grand slam Sept. 1 at Milwaukee (12th career slam)...Made four starts and played in seven games at third base, his first time at position since '02...Launched eight home runs with two strikes and owns 139 two-strike HRs in his career - most in Majors since 2001.
Led the NL in RBI (118) for the first time in his career, home runs (42) for the second consecutive season and second time in his career, runs (115) for the second consecutive season and sixth time overall and extra base hits (86) second consecutive and fourth overall. He was voted the recipient of the N.L. Silver Slugger award at first base for the third straight season...Ranked among NL leaders in batting (T5th, .312), hits (5th, 183), total bases (2nd, 350), doubles (8th, 39), walks (2nd, 103), on-base percentage (2nd, .414) and slugging (3rd, .596)...Clubbed his 400th home run on 8/26 at WSH off Jordan Zimmermann. Finished the season with 408 home runs, ranking 45th all-time and with the most ever by a player in his first10 ML seasons. He and Stan Musial (475) are the only two Cardinals to have hit 400 or more home runs while wearing the Birds-on-Bat...Was selected to his eighth consective (9th overall) National League All-Star team, the top vote getter in the Majors for the second consecutive season. Started at first base and went 0-for-2...Had a .348 batting average w/RISP, ranking 4th in the NL and had the best night game batting average in the NL at .330...Batted .300 with 30 HR and 100 RBI for the 10th consecutive season adding to his own existing Major League record...Became the first Cardinals player in franchise history to have three consecutive 100-walk seasons and tied Stan Musial for overall 100 walk seasons with three...Led the NL with six multi-HR games and passed Stan Musial on 9/12 for the Cardinals all-time lead of career multi-HR games, which now stands at 39...Hit 40 home runs for the sixth time in his career. His 30th HR on 8/15 vs. CHI marked his ML record 10th consecutive season to start a career with 30 HR per season...Had 20 HR and 60 RBI pre-All Star break for the 8th time in his career. Ranked first in the majors with 60 runs post-All Star break and was first in the NL with 21 HR post-All Star break...Tallied 180 hits for the fourth consecutive season and ninth overall...Led the Cardinals with14 stolen bases, 2nd among MLB first basemen (Votto, 16)...Led the Majors with 21 game-winning RBI...Batted in the No. 4 position in the lineup on 5/17, the first time since 5/3/03, a span of 1,045 games in the No. 3 slot, which was the active MLB record at the time it stopped...Was issued a Major League-leading 38 intentional walks, a total which surpassed the team total for 17 Major League clubs. He currently ranks 2nd among active players with 236. Established a single-game high with 3 IBBs at WSH on 8/26...Led the Majors with 19 two strike home runs and has the most (131) in MLB during his 10-year career...Led the Cardinals with 27 multiple-RBI games and 20 defensive fielding gems...Scored three or more runs in a game six times, and the Cardinals have gone 55-1 when he scores three-or-more runs in a game (only loss, 8/26/10 at WSH)...Honored as Pepsi's Major League Baseball Clutch Performer in the month of April...Hit three home runs in a game at CHI (5/30), the fourth time in his career and first time since 2006 that he had done so...Passed Ozzie Smith (876) for 2nd all-time for Cardinals walks on 7/24 and currently has 914...Had a career-high 11-game walkless streak from 7/28-8/9...Scored a run in 11 consecutive games from 7/31 to 8/13 and 19 of 20 dates. The 11-game streak was the second longest in his career (13) and the second longest in the majors in 2010...Named National League Player of the Month for August batting .379 with 11 HR and 23 RBI...Hit his 94th home run at Busch Stadium III on 8/21, tying his mark for home runs in one ballpark with Busch Stadium II (94).
Was the unanimous winner of his 3rd N.L. MVP award. Was named Player of the Year & N.L. Outstanding Player by MLBPA Player's Choice. Named Player of the Year by The Sporting News and was also named to The Sporting News All-Star Team...Was the winner of the N.L.'s Silver Slugger Award for first basemen as voted on by managers and coaches...Named the National League's Player of the Month for both April and June and also named Player of the Week twice (once in April and June)...Led the Majors with 47 home runs, just the 2nd Cardinal (Mark McGwire, 1998-99) since 1940 (Johnny Mize) to lead MLB...Also led the majors in runs (124) and slugging pct. (.658). Led the N.L. with a .443 on-base pct. and finished second among N.L. leaders in doubles (45) and was third in BA (.327) and RBI (135)...Was the Cardinal's "Triple Crown" winner for the 5th-straight season and 8th time in nine years...Just the 2nd player in MLB history to have 100 RBI in each of his first nine seasons, joining Hall of Famer Al Simmons (11)...Was top vote-getter for the 80th All-Star Game hosted in St. Louis. Took part in HR Derby, advancing to 2nd round after winning "swing-off" tie-breaker following 1st round...Led the team in batting average (.327) for a 9th consecutive season. No other Cardinal has ever done so. [S. Musial 1946-52 and R. Hornsby 1919-25 did so in seven consecutive seasons]...Batted .588 (10-17) with bases loaded, setting Cardinals single-season (5) and career (11) records for grand slams...Had a team single-season record (44) intentional walks, surpassing his record 34 from 2008 and setting MLB record for RHB...Led Cardinals team and all MLB first basemen with his 16 stolen bases...Set MLB record with 185 assists as first baseman, securing it on last day of season, surpassing Boston's Bill Buckner (184 in 1985) for the top spot. Had club single-game record 21 putouts 6/23 at NYM...Albert's 1st-inning home run on 5/21 vs. CHI knocked the "I" out of the Big Mac Land sign in left field...Underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow for debridement of bone spurs and removal of bone chips on 10/20, performed in Birmingham, Ala., by Dr. James Andrews.
All-Star first baseman had another record-setting year, earning his 2nd N.L. MVP award. Pujols and Stan Musial are the only Cardinals to have won multiple MVP awards...Was named Player of the Year by both MLBPA Player's Choice and The Sporting News...Named the 2008 Roberto Clemente Award winner in recognition of both his outstanding play on the field and tireless work in the community...Recipient of the National League's Silver Slugger Award for first basemen as voted on by managers and coaches...Recipient of the National League's Silver Slugger Award for first basemen as voted on by managers and coaches...Named N.L. Oscar Charleston winner by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as the most outstanding player in the N.L...Was the team's "Triple Crown" winner for the 4th straight season and 7th time in 8 years. Led the team with a .357 BA and 116 RBI while his 37 HRs tied R. Ludwick for team-lead...Trailed only Atlanta's C. Jones (.364) for M.L. batting lead at .357. His season BA was above .341 since 4/9...Led the team in batting average (.357) for an 8th consecutive season, something no other Cardinal has ever done (S. Musial 1946-52 and R. Hornsby 1919-25 did so in 7 seasons)...Was elected (by MLB players) to his 7th All-Star game and was the starting DH, going 2-3 before his exit...Was elected (by MLB players) to his 7th All-Star game and was the starting DH, going 2-3 before his exit...Ranked 1st in the Majors in SLG pct. (.653) & OPS (1.114) and 2nd in on-base pct. (.462)...Albert led the team and was 2nd in the National League with a .339 avg. when runners were in scoring position..His 37 homers T4th in the League, as did his 116 RBI...Led the team with 16 game-winning RBI, T3rd in M.L. Contributed GWRBI in 4 of the team's last 8 wins. Had 30 go-ahead RBI which was 4th in the N.L...Led the team with 44 doubles, 4th-most in the N.L. Had 342 total bases which led all National League players...Finished the season with 81 extra-base hits, 3rd in the Majors...Had 17 games with three or more hits, T5th in N.L. and led St. Louis with 56 multi-hit games, 4th in the league...Ranked 5th in the N.L. with an 11.9 strikeout per plate app. ratio, fanning just 54 times...Batted .335 on the road, tops in the Majors and his .380 home average was 2nd. Hit .380 in the day to lead all N.L. and .346 at night to rank 2nd...He hit career HR # 300 on 7/4 vs. CHI (off B. Howry) - the 2nd player in M.L. history to hit 300 HRs in his first 8 seasons (Ralph Kiner)...Homered on 9/1, for his 30th on the season and has had 30 or more homers in all 8 of his MLB seasons. That streak is twice as long as the next start-of-career streak (four seasons, M. McGwire, 1987-90)...Collected his 100th RBI on 9/11, becoming just the 3rd player in MLB history to have 100 RBI in each of first 8 seasons, joining Al Simmons (11 seasons) & Ted Williams (8)...Walked for the 100th time on 9/23 vs. ARI, his 1st 100-walk season. Finished 3rd in M.L. w/104 walks and led the Majors with 34 intentional walks, setting the Cardinals single-season record...Scored his 100th run with a solo HR on 9/27 vs. CIN. It marked the 7th time in eight seasons he scored 100 runs (99 in 2007)...Albert reached base safely by hit, walk and/or HBP in 136 of his 148 games...Named NL Player of the Week 8/18-24...led the N.L. with .579 (11-for-19) average, 10 RBI and tied for the lead with 4-2Bs. During ATL series 8/22-24, went 3-for-3 w/3RBI on 8/22, had 2-2B's & HR 8/23 & HRed & singled prior to 3 walks on 8/24...Also named NL Player of the Week the last week of the season, 9/22-28...led the N.L. with a .588 (10-for-17) avg. and 1.235 slg pct. Tied league lead w/10 RBI, .680 OBP & 7 BBs...His .996 fielding pct. was T1st in the N.L. and he finished 2nd in the league with 135 assists (J. Votto-136). Among every day first basemen, his six errors ranked as T2nd fewest...Appeared at 2B on 4/22 at MIL-- first career appearance there (reg. season) & first since 2001 All-Star Game (defensive replacement for Jeff Kent)...Appeared at 2B on 4/22 at MIL-- first career appearance there (reg. season) & first since 2001 All-Star Game (defensive replacement for Jeff Kent)...Had season high 14-game hitting streak (.340, 4/30-5/15) and 42-game streak of reaching base come to an end on 5/16 vs. TB. Had reached base in every game played from Opening Day through 5/15...His streak of reaching base safely by hit or walk in the first 42 games to begin a season was the best start in Majors since 1999 (D. Jeter - 53 games)...Had 22nd career multi-HR game 5/19 at SD. The 1st HR was only the 9th in PETCO Park history to have reached the third deck of Western Metal Supply Bldg....Was on the DL 6/12-25 with a strained left calf. Came off the DL 6/26 at DET & went 4-for-4 with IBB...Went 4-for-4 on 8/30 at HOU and was triple shy of cycle. Collected his 1,500th hit in that game - 14th Cardinal ever to reach 1,500 hits...Belted 6th career GS as part of 4 hits 8/6 vs. LA. It was his 39th career game with 4 or more RBI, T1st in Majors since '01...Finished '08 strong, hitting safely in 30 of his last 37 games with an at-bat (.400, 54-135) with 16 multi-hit games in that span...Hit safely in 7-straight AB's from 9/23-26 (three games played) and reached base safely in 11 straight plate appearances, not counting a sac fly on 9/25...Had surgery on Oct. 13, by team physician, Dr. George Paletta, on his right elbow, a procedure that included decompression and transposition of the ulnar nerve.
In 2007 Albert hit 32 homers and had 103 RBI to extend his record of 30-homer & 100 RBI seasons to begin a career to seven. He finished one run shy of his 7th-consecutive 100-run scored season. Played in each of the team's first 106 games (105 starts) and played in 158 of 162 total (153 starts). Played in his 1,000th career game on 6/18 vs. KC. Finished 6th in the National League with a .327 batting average with his .358 road batting average tops in MLB. Had the 3rd highest on-base percentage in the N.L. at .429 (Bonds-SF, .480 & Helton-COL, .434). Finished 9th in National League MVP voting. Collected 59 multi-hit games to lead the team and rank T-3rd in the N.L. Batted .367 (55-150) vs. left-handed pitchers, which ranked 4th-best in the N.L. Ended one walk shy of his first 100-walk season. He had a career-high 99, besting his previous high of 97 from his MVP season of 2005. Was walked intentionally 22 times, fourth-most in the N.L. Went a career-best 109-consecutive plate appearances beginning 8/31 before striking out in the 5th inning on 9/30 at PIT, it was the longest active streak in the Majors. Ranked 5th among NL batters in most plate appearances (11.71) per strikeout. Grounded into 27 double plays, matching Houston's Carlos Lee for the MLB high. Reached safely in 95 of 104 games from 6/3 (.354, 128-362, 23 HRs, 75 RBI, 72 BB). Thirteen of his 16 HR's after the All-Star break were solo shots & 12 of the 16 came on the road. He hit 12 HR's on Sundays, including all four of his 2-HR games. Had 4 HR's, 10 RBI, 8 runs & .438 BA (7-16) in the club's first three Sunday day games. His 9.90 total chances/9 inn. (1457 TC/1324.2 inn.) ranked 4th in MLB among 1st basemen and his assists (124) were 3rd-most. Batted .411 (23-for-56) with five HRs and 16 RBI in 15 Interleague games. Reached by hit or walk in 25 of 26 June games and had 20 RBI in June. Hit in 20 of his final 23 games with an at-bat (.405, 32-for-79), with 2-HR, 18 RBI & 14 runs scored. Had a .330 batting average, his season high, before going 0-for-5 in the season finale on 9/30 at PIT to finish at .327. Collected first HR, RBI & run scored of '07 with 3rd-inning blast off Astros' Jason Jennings 4/8 at HOU to snap an 0-15 slide. Also scored 3 runs on the day. Belted three-run HR in 10th on 4/22 at CHI for 12-9 win. It was his 7th career extra inning HR and tied him with Ken Boyer for 2nd on team's all-time HR list at 255. Went hitless on 5/5, snapping his 12-game hit streak (.409 BA) that began on 4/20. Also had an 11 game streak (22-45, .489, 2 HR) which ended 5/28 at COL. Reached base in 11 of his 15 plate appearances vs. DET over 5/18-20 (7-H & 4-BB) and had season-high 4 hits 5/18 at DET reaching base in all 5 PA's, including his first HR since 4/28, his 257th career. Did not start 5/31 at COL for first time in the season, but came in defensively in 9th. Had five strikeouts 6/8-9, the 3rd time he'd had 5 Ks in a two-game span in his career, the other two in his rookie season (7/7- 8/01 at CLE, 9/25-26/01 at HOU). His 3-K game 6/8 vs. LAA was his 1st since 6/2/06 vs. CHI (14 inn.) & 1st in a 9-inn. gm. since 5/12/05 vs. LA. Caught looking twice - just 2nd time that had happened since the start of the '04 season and 1st time since 8/29/05 vs. FLA (A.J. Burnett). Ended an 11-game home hitting streak on 6/9 (.444, 20-for-45, 10R, 3HR, 6RBI). Ended a six-game stretch in which he went 11-for-20 for .550 BA on 7/5 (0-3). Named the N.L.'s Player of the Week for 7/9-15. (.429 BA, 4 HR & 1.357 slg.%). Homered in three-straight games 7/13-15, including two on 7/15 at PHI. Hit HR #23 on 7/26 vs. CHI and matched season high with five RBI, tying Joe Medwick (823) for 8th on the team's all-time RBI list. Had three streaks end on 8/23 vs. FLA; 5-game HR streak, 7-game RBI streak & 9-game hitting streak. The career-best 5- game HR streak tied club single-season record. Made first start since 9/17 on 9/24 at MIL (strained left calf). Had a two-run PH single 9/22 & PH-RBI single 9/23. Belted solo HR (#32) 9/26 at MIL, for 7th-straight 100-RBI season.
Put together yet another MVP caliber season. Produced his 6th straight season with .300 BA, 100 runs, 30 HR & 100 RBI...Despite missing two weeks to injury, Albert ranked 2nd in the N.L. in both HR's (49) & RBI (137) and was 3rd in BA (.331)...Led N.L. in SLG pct. (.671) and finished in top-5 among N.L. leaders in RISP BA (.397) & total bases (359)...Led the Majors with 25 GWRBI with 19 of those via HR's; the most since Willie Mays (19 -1962) in SABR data going back to 1957... Was T2nd in the Majors with 34 go-ahead RBI (David Ortiz-40). He hit a ML-leading 23 go-ahead home runs...Was the recipient of 2006 Players Choice Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award with $50,000 going to the charity of his choice...Was selected as finalist for Roberto Clemente & Hank Aaron Awards by MLB...Set a career-high with 137 RBI, T7th on all-time STL single-season list, and 49 HR's. Had 5th season of 350 or more TB's...Homered in his final at-bat of the season for HR #250 of his career...He & Jim Bottomley (1924-29) are lone Cards with six consecutive 100 RBI seasons... Scored 100 runs for 6th-straight season, but had NL-leading run streak end (3 yrs)...Became the fastest among active players to reach the 2,000 total base mark, doing so 7/3 at ATL with a 2B and HR in his 854th game...Nomar Garciaparra ranks 2nd (869 games)...Combined for 2 HR's & 6 RBI 5/28-29 as he became 3rd fastest in ML to 25 HR's...Became 3rd fastest to 20 HR behind Luis Gonzalez ('01-40 games) & Mickey Mantle (1956-41 games)...He's the majors' fastest player ever to 19 HR (37 team Games), 15 HR (28 Gms.) and to 14 HR (24 Gms.)...He HRed in 15 of the team's first 19 series...Belted 14th HR on 4/29 to set ML record for April HR's...Tied Todd Helton (3,003 AB's) for 2nd fastest to 1,000 career hits among active players when he connected for 2-run HR off Cubs' Jerome Williams 4/21 at Busch...Finished among N.L. 1st base fielding leaders in chances and fielding pct., making just six errors...Was rewarded with his first ever Rawlings Gold Glove award...Tied 9/18 game at MIL with 3-run HR in 7th. Went 4-for-4 on 9/16 vs. SF with 2B & RBI & had 2 RBI 9/15 vs. SF...Hit game-winning 2-run 2B on 9/12 vs. HOU in bottom of 9th...Had his 3rd career 3- HR game 9/3 vs. PIT with 5 RBI (also hit 3 HR 4/16 vs. CIN)...he & Mark McGwire ('98) are only Cardinals with two 3-HR games in the same season...HRed for a 3rd-straight game (5 HR's total) 9/5 at WSH. Hit upper deck HR (#43) in 9th on 9/4 at WSH to spoil shutout bid by Nats' Ramon Ortiz...Had a career high 7 RBI on 8/22 at NY, with 2 HR's - including his 5th career grand slam...had 2-run single next day, and finished with 9 RBI in Mets series...Was rested 7/26, the first time he'd not started since coming off DL on 6/22. Supplied game's lone run with solo HR 7/25 at COL & scored 700th career run...His season-high 11-game hit streak (.435 BA) ended 7/23 but he did walk twice...His seven-game RBI streak ended on 7/18 (10 total)... three of them were of the game-winning variety, and it matched team season long RBI streak (Rolen: 6/7-15)...Belted 7th career walk-off HR, and 2nd in '06, on 7/13 vs. LA in 14th inn. of 3-2 win...Hit 3-run HR on 7/2 that tied Ray Lankford (228) for 3rd on all-time STL HR list...Returned to active roster 6/22 after missing 15 games & was 4-for-4 on 6/23 at DET...Suffered strained right oblique muscle on 6/3 and was DLed 6/4 for first time in career. Missed 15 games...Named N.L. co-Player of the Week for May 8-14, batting .429 with NL-best 10 RBI...At the time of his injury, Albert was ML leader in HRs (25), RBI (65), runs (52), total bases (139), SLG (.751), OPS (1.193) and BA w/RISP (.523). He had scored or driven in 92 (34 pct.) of the team's 271 runs before injury...His 3-HR game on 4/16 ended with walk-off shot. He became only the 8th player ever to cap off a 3-homer game with walk off...Began 2006 in the fashion that helped him win the 2005 N.L. MVP, hitting 2 HRs along with 2BBs and SF on Opening Day 4/3 at PHI & scored 3 times with four RBI...Opening Day marked Albert's 13th multi-homer game, 12th two-HR game of his career. it was the first-ever Cards Opening Day multi-HR game...Struck out for the first time in spring on 3/27, his first strikeout in an exhibition game since 3/31/04 vs. MON. Went 77 Grapefruit League AB's and 87 PA's between K's...Played for the Dominican Republic team in the inaugural World Baseball Classic...Took part in his 5th postseason and earned his first World Series championship...led the team with three HR's, 11 runs and 13 walks in the postseason...doubled and scored in WS Game 3...hit 2-run homer in 3rd inning of WS Game 1 at Detroit & also scored in the 6th after a walk...his solo homer in the 4th inning was the first run for STL in Game 5 of NLCS...had single, double and scored three times in LCS Game 2 win...singled twice in both Game 3 and Game 6 of LCS...blasted two-run HR in the 3rd inning of DS Game 1 at San Diego for the GWRBI...had a double, two singles & picked up the GWRBI in DS Game 2.
Continued his elite play and was rewarded with the National League Most Valuable Player Award, the 15th Cardinal to win the prestigious award since its 1931 inception and first since Willie McGee in 1985...Received 18 of 32 first-place votes...Was chosen as the first baseman on the All-Busch Stadium Team in fan balloting, selected over finalists Orlando Cepeda, Jack Clark, Keith Hernandez and Mark McGwire...Named Baseball America Major League Player of the Year and recipient of the Oscar Charleston Award, the Most Valuable Player Award as presented by the Negro Leagues Museum...Voted as first baseman on the Major League Baseball Latino Legends Team in balloting of fans...Was the St. Louis Baseball co-Man of the Year with Chris Carpenter as voted on by the St. Louis chapter of the BBWAA...Was named the first baseman on The Sporting News N.L. All-Star team for the 3rd consecutive year...Became just the second Cardinal with at least 40 home runs and 15 stolen bases in a single season (Rogers Hornsby-1922)...Among N.L. top-five in all three Triple Crown categories: second in BA (.330), third in HRs (41) & tied second in RBI (117). Finished 2nd with 360 total bases and 4th in N.L. with 195 hits...Tied Derrek Lee for N.L. lead in batting average on 9/12 and finished 2nd in the N.L. to Lee, .335 to .330. Ranked 2nd in N.L. with a .340 BA vs. RHPs, 1st with a .349 road BA, 6th with a .330 day & 3rd with a .330 night BA...Ranked 2nd N.L. in slugging (.609) and on-base pct. (.430). Tied for N.L.-best in multi-hit games with 57 (Eckstein-STL, Cabrera-FLA)...Ranked 2nd in N.L. with 20 game-winning RBI and 1st with 36 go-ahead RBI...Scored his 600th career run 8/13 at CHI on his 33rd HR, a two-run shot in the 3rd...His 65 strikeouts ranked as fewest in baseball among players with 40 or more HR's. Ranked 6th in the N.L. with 97 walks and had N.L.-high 27 intentional walks...Stole two bases 8/30 at FLA and had 1st career two-steal game 7/27 at SD...Led team in steals (16-for-18)...The last Cardinals first baseman to lead team in SB's was G. Jefferies (46 in 1993)...Held hitless in series (CHI 7/22-24) for first time since 4/18-20/03 vs. ARI...Was also hitless 8/8-10 at MIL & 9/27-28 vs. HOU. Has just six hitless series in 261 career series played...Made his fourth All-Star appearance in five seasons, starting as DH and had a single in two AB's...Went hitless 7/6 to end a 17-game streak (.422, 27-for-64, 6 HR). Stretch was tied for 5th longest in the N.L. in 2005 and matched 2nd longest streak of his career (2001). Had 16-game hit streak 4/19-5/5...Reached base safely in 72 of 77 road starts & had hits in 60 of those 77 games...Did not start on 5/15 at NYM, his first non-start of '05...pinch-hit in 9th inn. (K)...Batted .370 (37-for-100) in the month of June with eight HR and 22 RBI. Hit over .300 in every month but August (.287, 29-for-101)...Belted fifth career walk-off HR (#23) in the 13th inn. on 7/15 vs. HOU to give Cards 4-3 win...Snapped 0-for-12 skid with 418-ft HR (#27) and 2B 7/26 at SD. Had three hits, including 10th career triple, in 7/28 win at SD...HRed in consecutive games on 9/7 and 9/8 vs. NYM after not HRing in eight straight starts prior to 8/26....Was 5-for-9 (.556) with four walks (three intentional), four runs and two RBI in the three-game sweep of SD in the Division Series....collected a hit, walk and run in each of the three games, with two two-hit outings...had a team-high six RBI and matched a team-high with seven hits in the NLCS vs. HOU, batting .304...belted a game-winning, three-run homer with two outs in the 9th inning of Game 5 at HOU off Brad Lidge to send the series to a Game 6...went 0-for-4 in Game 6 to end a seven-game hitting streak in NLCS games dating to 2004...was 12-for-28 (.429) over the course of that streak with four multi-hit games.
Pujols continued his offensive prowess and displayed a solid glove in his first season as the full-time first baseman...Finished third in N.L. Most Valuable Player balloting. Is the second Cardinal to finish in the top five in MVP voting four straight years, joining Stan Musial (five straight, 1948-52)...Earned the Silver Slugger Award at first base. He has captured the award three times at three different positions (2003-OF, 2001-3B)...Was named the first baseman on The Sporting News N.L. All-Star team. It was the second consecutive year that he's been voted to the team...Was voted the starting first baseman for the N.L. at the All-Star Game in Houston and went 2-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBI...Finished season ranked first in the N.L. in total bases (389) and runs (133), third in RBI (123) and fifth in batting (.331)...Finished 11 total bases shy of becoming just the fourth Cardinal to have 400+ total bases and first since Stan Musial in 1948...Was N.L. leader with 34 go-ahead RBI and 20 GWRBI (teammate S. Rolen was second with 18)...Belted a career-high 46 home runs...his 28 road homers topped the NL...finished tied for second in N.L. HR race...Eight of his last nine hits of the season were doubles, giving him consecutive seasons of 50+ doubles...is the first Cardinal with back-to-back 50+ doubles seasons since Joe Medwick in 1936-37...Finished with an MLB-high 99 extra-base hits (eight ahead of Ortiz-BOS and 16 ahead of Helton-COL and Edmonds in NL)...was four XBHs shy of tying Stan Musial's club record of 103 set in 1948...36 of his last 60 hits were extra base hits...Was tops among N.L. first basemen with 1,458 putouts, 1,582 total chances and 136 double plays...His .343 (49-143) batting average with runners in scoring position ranked fourth in the NL...Reached base by hit or walk in 141 of 154 games (92%) for the year...Had just 52 K's in 692 PA's, but had K's in seven of his last 49 plate appearances...Batted .359 (113-315) in the season's final three months...Had multi-hit efforts in 13 of last 30 games and 34 of last 71 contests (101-276, .366)...Tied for team lead with 52 multi-hit games , including seven games with four-plus hits (5-four hit, 2-five hit)...Batted .287 (25-87) in April, his first sub-.300 month since June of 2002 (.284). Has seven career sub-.300 months in 26 months played, with a low of .241 in July, 2001...Started all 23 April games and the team's first 56 until sitting on 6/7 at CHI...His HR breakdown: 26 solo, 16 two-run HRs, 4 three-run HRs...Had a solo HR (#7) on 4/25 at MIL for 3rd GWRBI...hit 2-run HR (#6) on 4/20 at HOU for 2nd GWRBI of the season...Hit HR #8 on 5/3 vs. CHI, first HR since 4/25 - a six-game HR-less stretch...With strikeout on 5/20 at NY, had fanned in four straight games for first time in '04...has never fanned in five straight games in his career...HRed consecutive games (5/20 and 5/21). Snapped an eight-game homerless streak 5/20 at NY...Had no ABs in five plate appearances 5/27 vs. PIT. Scored once and had an RBI with four walks (one intentional) and a SF...Hit a solo HR and singled in loss on 5/30 at HOU...had his 2nd 2-HR game of the year (8th career) on 5/29 at HOU and was 4-5 with three RBI...Hit a walk-off HR in the 10th inn. on 6/17 vs. Reds for third game-ending HR of his career. The HR ended a season-long 10-game homerless streak...His 3-run HR in the 8th inn. on 6/19 vs. CIN proved to be game winner...Had three hits, three runs (matched career high) and three RBI on 7/2 vs. SEA...Snapped 6-game hit streak on 7/6 vs. CIN (2 walks)...Hit three HRs and was 5-5 at CHI on 7/20, matching his career high in hits and RBI (five) and setting career marks with three HRs and four runs scored. His HR in the 9th was GWer as the Cards rallied from deficits of 7-1 and 8-2 for an 11-8 win...Solo HR on 7/23 vs. SF broke up D. Hermanson's no-hitter and shutout in the 7th inn...Tied 7/26 game at CIN with solo HR (#29) with two outs in 8th inning...His 29 RBI in Aug. ranked tied first in NL and his 12 HRs ranked second...Won 8/4 game vs. MON with fourth career game-ending HR to lead off 9th inning off Chad Cordero...Season-high 10-game hit streak ended Gm #1 on 8/20 vs. PIT...hit .372 (16-43) with six HRs during the streak...Went 4-4 on 9/2 vs. SD, his 6th game with four-or-more hits, and was a double shy of the cycle...Hit 44th HR on 9/16, his first in 10 games (since 9/2) - his longest HR drought of the season...Went 2-3 on 9/24 at COL with HR #45...it was his first HR on the road since 8/29 at PIT...had failed to reach base in three straight games (2 starts) before 9/24's 2-3 outing...HRed (#46-career high) on 9/26 at COL to join J. DiMaggio & T. Williams as only players to reach 500 RBI in first four seasons. Went 4-5 (7th game in '04 with four-or-more hits) and had four RBI...Had two hits and drove in two on 10/1 vs. MIL...Received two non-invasive treatments in the offseason, called OssaTron treatments, to remedy the plantar fasciitis discomfort in his left heel that bothered him in the second half of the season....Combined to go 24-58 (.414) with six home runs, 14 RBI and 14 runs in the postseason...the six home runs were a Cardinals postseason record...went 5-15 (.333) with two home runs and five RBI in four Division Series games vs. LA...drove in the division series clinching run in Game 4 with a three-run home run off Wilson Alvarez at LA...was named the Most Valuable Player of the League Championship Series after batting .500 (14-28) with four home runs, nine RBI and 10 runs scored vs. HOU...the 14 hits and 28 total bases were NLCS records...was the fifth player in LCS history to bat .500 or better in a series, joining Chris Chambliss-NYY (1976), Will Clark-SF (1989), Javy Lopez-ATL (1996) and Eddie Perez-ATL (1999)...batted .333 (5-15) in four World Series games vs. BOS.
Posted one of the best individual seasons in Cardinals history, batting .359 with 43 home runs, 124 RBI and 137 runs scored. He also collected 212 hits, including 51 doubles...Albert claimed a host of postseason awards and honors. He was voted by his peers as the Players' Choice Major League Player of the Year, as well as the National League's Outstanding Player...Was named the Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News, and he also received the Hank Aaron Award (voted by broadcasters) as the league's best hitter, and the Silver Slugger Award (voted by managers and coaches)...Played in his second All-Star Game and led all N.L. players in fan balloting, collecting 2,030,702 votes...At 23, Albert became the youngest N.L. batting champion since LA's Tommy Davis (also 23) in 1962. Albert was the first Cardinal right-hander to win the title since Joe Torre in 1971...Albert joined Rogers Hornsby as the only players in Cardinals history to record 40 homers and 200 hits in the same season. Hornsby did so in 1922, when he hit 42 homers and had a club-record 250 hits.
Not only did Albert avoid the "sophomore slump" in his second season, but he again led the Cardinals in nearly every major offensive category... In 2001 he became the first Redbird in 40 years to lead the club in batting, homers, RBI and runs scored, and he did it again in 2002, batting .314 with 34 HRs, 127 RBI and 118 runs...Albert became the first player in Major League history to hit at least .300 with 30 home runs, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored in each of his first two big league seasons...Finished second in BBWAA balloting for N.L. MVP. Albert received 26 second-place votes, as he and unanimous MVP Barry Bonds were the only two players named on all 32 ballots...After finishing fourth in 2001 MVP voting, Albert became the first Cardinal since Stan Musial in 1950-51 to finish in the top four in the MVP race in back-to-back years... Musial finished second in both 1950 and '51...Albert was named St. Louis Baseball Man of the Year by the St. Louis chapter of the BBWAA and was a second-teamer on Baseball America's N.L. All-Star team...Ranked second in N.L. in both runs and RBI, was seventh in batting average, eighth in doubles and 10th in home runs...Was one of just four players in the N.L. to finish in the top 10 in batting average, home runs and RBI (Barry Bonds, Vladimir Guerrero and Jeff Kent also did it)...Batted .335 (94-for-281) with 13 HRs and a league-leading 61 RBI after the All-Star Break...The 22-year-old hit safely in all 52 of St. Louis' series and in 118 of his 157 games played...His starts were at LF (101), 3B (37), 1B (15), and at DH (2)...He also played in RF and at shortstop...Finished fourth in the league in hits (185) and his 53 multi-hit games ranked fifth...Sported a .340 BA (105-for-309) in road games (second in the N.L.)...He became just the fifth Cardinal with back-to-back 30-HR seasons and he is just the second Cardinal (Ray Jablonski) to begin his career with consecutive 100-RBI seasons. Albert is the first Cardinal to begin his career with back-to-back 20-homer seasons...Had 73 RBI in 80 games after July 1. Had 49 RBI and 11 HRs in his last 49 games...He tied for second in the N.L. with 24 June RBI...Connected for his second career grand slam in 6/11 win at SEA. ..Was the N.L. Player of the Week for 7/1-7, batting .435 (10-23) with five HRs and 12 RBI...Hit his third career grand slam 8/10 vs. NY...HR #30 and RBI #100 came 8/27  at CIN...Abert finished second in the N.L. in RBI in August (32) and batted .368 (43-for-117) for the month...Matched his season high with four RBI on 8/30 at CHI, going 2-for-4 with a double and HR (#31)...Hit HR #32 on 8/31  at CHI...Had 10-game hitting streak snapped on 9/2 vs. CIN...Had a career-high four hits on 9/4 vs. CIN...Belted his team-high 34th HR on 9/22 vs. HOU...2002 POSTSEASON: Went 3-for-10 in the Division Series vs. Arizona...was 5-for-19 in the League Championship Series vs. San Francisco and homered off Kirk Rueter in the fifth inning of Game 1.
In just his second season of professional baseball, Albert posted one of the finest rookie seasons in baseball history. Played a team-high 161 games and led the club a .329 batting average, 194 hits, 37 HRs, 47 doubles, 130 RBIs and 112 runs scored...In voting by the BBWAA, was named National League Rookie of the Year. Became just the ninth unanimous selection in league history...Finished fourth in voting for N.L. Most Valuable Player - the highest finish by a rookie in either league since Fred Lynn won the A.L. honor in 1975. Seattle rookie Ichiro Suzuki won A.L. MVP honors the very next week...Was chosen as Major League Rookie of the Year by Baseball America and was named the top N.L. rookie by Baseball Weekly, The Sporting News, Baseball Digest and the Players' Choice Awards. Was named the third baseman on the Topps' Rookie All-Star Team...Posted a .610 slugging percentage and received the N.L. Silver Slugger Award for the top slugging mark among third basemen...Set Cardinals rookie records for home runs, doubles, RBIs, extra-base hits, runs and total bases (360)...Established National League rookie marks for RBIs, extra-base hits and total bases...Became just the fourth rookie in major league history, and the first National Leaguer, to hit at least .300 with 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored. He became the first Cardinal do it since Stan Musial batted .330 with 35 homers, 126 RBIs and 120 runs in 1952...Was the first Redbird in 40 years to lead the club in batting, homers, RBIs and runs scored. Ken Boyer last did it in 1961, when he batted .329 with 24 HRs, 95 RBIs and 109 runs...Became the first Cardinal since Ted Simmons in 1973 (.310/13/91) to win the club's Triple Crown, and only the second rookie in club history to do it after Rogers Hornsby led the club with a .313 batting average, six homers and 65 RBIs as a rookie in 1916...Tied Montreal's Orlando Cabrera for the N.L. lead with 21 game-winning RBIs...Batted .336 (93-for-277) with 16 HRs and a team-leading 64 RBIs after the All-Star Break...Albert batted .354 (103-for-291) with 18 homers and 64 RBIs in 82 home games. Hit safely in 69 of 82 home contests and his home batting average ranked as the fourth-best in the N.L...The 21-year-old hit safely in 50 of STL's 52 series and in 121 of his 156 starts...His starts were at 3B (52), LF (37), RF (33), 1B (31), and DH (2). He is believed to be the first major leaguer to make 30 starts at four different positions in a single season...Made the club out of spring training when Bobby Bonilla was placed on the D.L. with a strained left hamstring. Albert led the club with 34 total bases in the spring and was second on the club in doubles (6) and batting average (.349)...Made his major league debut by starting in left field on Opening Day (4/2) at COL and went 1-for-3...Had a homer, three doubles and eight RBIs in a three-game series at ARI (4/6-8). Hit his first M.L. homer on 4/6 and had three hits and three RBIs. Added three more RBIs on 4/7, including a two-run double in the first inning. Hit a two-run double off Randy Johnson on 4/8...On 4/9, became the first Cardinals rookie since 1954 (Wally Moon) to hit a home run in the club's home opener...Had a13-game hitting streak 4/6-20. Batted .447 (21-for-47) with four HRs during the streak...Went 7-for-10 (.700) in the April 13-15 series vs. HOU...Posted his first career two-homer game and had three RBIs 4/22 at HOU...Put his name in the record books by tying the major league rookie record for HRs (8) in the month of April with his solo shot off John Franco in the eighth inning on 4/28. He shares the April record with Kent Hrbek (1982) and Carlos Delgado ('94)...Followed up a strong April showing with a .333 batting average, eight homers and 24 RBIs in May, earning his second straight N.L. Rookie of the Month honor...Posted his second two-homer game and had three RBIs on 5/28 vs. MIL...Homered (#20) for the fourth-straight game on 6/12 and had his ninth three-hit game on 6/14 at KC. Supplied seven of the Cards' 21 hits in the three-game series (6/12-14) vs. the Royals...Batted .330 (32-for-97) with 5 HRs and 15 RBIs in June...Had his worst month in July, when he batted .241 with four homers and 12 RBIs. July was the only month Albert failed to hit .300...Suffered through his biggest slump of the year on the club's nine-game road trip entering the All-Star break. Albert went just 2-for-33 (0-for-12 with RISP), as his season batting average slipped from .354 to .323 on the nine-game trip...Became the first Cardinals rookie to make the N.L. All-Star squad since LHP Luis Arroyo in 1955 and the first rookie since 3B Eddie Kazak ('49) to actually play in the game. Entered the game in the eighth inning and played second base for Jeff Kent. Albert walked on a full-count slider from Seattle's Jeff Nelson in his lone plate appearance...Homered for the first time in 93 at-bats on 7/14 vs. DET, setting the Cardinals rookie HR record with his 22nd of the season...Hit a 453-foot homer (#26) on 8/4 vs. FLA, the longest homer by a Cardinal at Busch Stadium in 2001...Had a career-best 17-game hitting streak (.406), and a 13-game run-scoring streak snapped on 8/17...Hit a 439-foot solo blast over Cinergy Field's "Black Monster" on 8/20 for HR #29...Lined his 31st HR on 8/29 vs. SD and became only the second Cardinals rookie to reach 100 RBIs, joining Ray Jablonski, who in 1953 had 112 RBIs as a rookie...Homered in all three games of the 9/2-5 series at SD...Was N.L. co-Player of Week for 9/17-23, batting .370 with two HRs and 15 RBIs. Three of his RBIs were game-winners, as the Cards went 6-1 for the week...Blasted his first career grand slam for his 20th game-winning-RBI on 9/21at PIT. Finished the game with his second five-RBI game of the week and set the N.L. rookie record for extra-base hits with 83, surpassing Johnny Fredericks' (Brooklyn) 1929 record of 82...His final home run (#37) was a two-run shot on 9/30 vs. PIT...Set a pair of rookie records on 10/2 at MIL, including the N.L. record for total bases (353), breaking Richie Allen's 1964 mark of 352. Albert also set the Cardinals' rookie record for runs scored (110) in that game.
2001 POSTSEASON: Struggled in his first trip to the postseason, batting just .111 (2-for-18) in the five-game Division Series vs. Arizona...poked a two-out, two-run, opposite-field homer in the first inning of Game 2 off Randy Johnson, as the Cards went on to win 4-1 and even the series at a game apiece.
In his first season of professional baseball, Pujols made a quick climb through the Cardinals system and completed the year by being named the organization's Minor League Player of the Year...his combined statistics included a .314 batting average, 19 home runs and 96 RBIs...ranked among the organizational leaders in nearly every offensive category, including hits (1st-154), doubles (1st-41), slugging percentage (3rd-.543), batting average (3rd), RBIs (3rd), homers (T5th), triples (T5th-7) and runs scored (6th-74)...spent the majority of the season at Class-A Peoria, where he batted .324 with 17 homers and 84 RBIs in 109 games...earned numerous postseason awards, including three from Baseball America, which named Pujols the Midwest League's best batting prospect, top defensive third baseman and owner of the circuit's best arm on an infielder...was named Most Valuable Player of the Midwest League, despite missing the last month of the league's campaign. Led the circuit in slugging percentage (.565) and finished second in batting (.324) and fourth in extra-base hits (55)...was selected to the Midwest League All-Star Game and teamed with Hall of Famer Tony Perez to win the pregame home run-hitting contest...his 41 doubles tied for 10th among all minor league players in 2000...ranked sixth among all minor league third basemen with a .314 overall batting average...struck out only 47 times in 544 plate appearances in the regular season...posted a two-hit game against Kane County on 4/6, when his three-run homer lifted the Chiefs to a 4-3 win...went 3-for-4 with a triple, a homer and three RBIs in a 6-1 win at Dayton on 6/2...was promoted to Class-A Potomac in August and batted .284 in 21 games for the Cannons...made the jump to Triple-A Memphis at season's end and played three regular-season games for the Redbirds. Shifted from third base for the first time and played two games in left field...was a part of Memphis' postseason run, and batted .302 in 11 postseason games...was named Most Valuable Player of the PCL Playoffs after batting .367 with two homers and five RBIs in seven playoff contests...his 13th-inning homer gave Memphis a 4-3 win over Salt Lake on 9/15 and clinched the PCL championship for the Redbirds, who advanced to the Triple-A World Series against Indianapolis...played for Scottsdale in the Arizona Fall League and was voted the league's top third base prospect in a poll of the AFL's managers and coaches; was one of only three players to be named on every ballot.