Over the years, Albert Pujols has been known as “The Machine” for his incredible work rate. Now, he can be known by another name: Mr. 3,000. On Friday May 4, in the top of the fifth in Seattle, Pujols hit a bloop single to reach an incredible feet: 3,000 hits.
Not drafted until the 13th round of the 1999 MLB Draft by the Cardinals with a $60,000 bonus offer, Pujols wasn’t considered anything more than a utility player. That all changed in 2001, when he proved people wrong by hitting .329 with 37 home runs and 130 RBI’s in 161 games. He won Rookie of the Year and was fourth in the voting for MVP.
From there, the legend of Albert Pujols grew.
For over 10+ years, Pujols was (and still is in the American League) one of the most feared hitters in the National League. He won the MVP award three times (2005, 2008, 2009) and won two World Series trophies, all with the Cardinals. His monster home runs became his trademark, and for a time, he could not be stopped. Overall, he had a slash line of .328/.420/.617 in 11 years with the Cardinals.
Signing a 10-year, $210 million deal with the Angels in 2012 was a huge gamble. You could say it was for both the then-32-year old Pujols and the Angels. While his numbers weren’t as inflated as they were in the National League, he was a still a force to be reckoned with. He hit his 500th and 600th home run with the Angels in a very timely manner. It was only a matter of time until he began knocking on Cooperstown’s door. 2018 was when they would finally answer.
As per his contract, Pujols will get a $3 million bonus from the Angels for his 3,000th hit.
With that hit, Pujols became the fourth player to have 3,000 hits and over 600 home runs, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.
Whenever “The Machine” decides to hang up the gloves and cleats, the Hall of Fame will be ready for him. For now, he is hoping to continue to make history and lead the Angels to the Promised Land once again. Until then, it is time for a tip of the cap to the man, the myth the legend, Albert Pujols.