Without burying the lede at all: Albert Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit in the 5th inning against the Mariners on Friday night, polishing off the dust on his plaque into one of the most hallowed clubs in baseball history. He is the 32nd player in MLB history to reach.
Mike Leake was the offending pitcher, serving up a 88 mph sinker that Pujols dumped into right. The entire team came out to celebrate, led by Mike Trout, and there were plenty of hugs to go around.
Pujols teased us in the 1st inning, lining a solid shot into the outfield, but Jean Segura was there to make the catch. Leake then walked Pujols in the 4th.
On December 8, 2011, Albert Pujols signed with the Angels, and all the World Series dreams came true. The first ten years of his career were Bonds-esque, and the question of this milestone, this 3K hit club, was closer to when rather than if. Over six years later, the dream came to life. There haven’t been the World Series titles, the MVPs, or even the All-Star appearances to which Pujols had become accustomed. Yet he kept soldiering on, battling the injuries, the talks of retirement, and the decreasing production. There was the 500th homer, the 600th homer, passing player after player on the homers, doubles, and hits list.
And now the grandfather of them all: 3000. With this milestone, Pujols becomes just the fourth player with 600 HRs and 3000 hits, joining Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Alex Rodriguez. 927 of the hits and 175 of the homers have been in the Angels.