We know about it already, because today is the day after the fact, but Albert Pujols became immortal yesterday, hitting his 500th home run.
It was a game that almost didn't occur as tarps were rolled out during batting practice at Nats Park. Right around this time, Albert Pujols told teammate, Erick Aybar, "I'm going to hit two tonight."
Nearly four years ago, in August of 2010, Pujols hit his 400th career home run at Nats Park, a shot to dead center to become the third youngest player to reach the mark.
Regardless, the game did occur, and it didn't take long for Pujols to show his teammate that his prediction wasn't just a bluff.
On a 1-1 count, no outs, and runners on first and second, Pujols caught a hanging changeup from Washington Nationals pitcher, Taylor Jordan, and sent it screaming into the left field stands for home run #499.
Despite a very small amount of boos, there was one very large cheer from a fan. The older gentleman who caught the ball was in fact, was an Angels fan, and felt that the ball didn't properly belong to him, but should be given back to the man who hit it. He gave the baseball to Angels PR and the ball was returned to Pujols without a name. Such an honorable thing to do for someone who payed to see it happen.
Pujols struck out in his second at bat to end the second inning and wouldn't come to the plate again until the top of the fifth.
With the wind blowing steadily at four miles per hour, on a partially cloudy, 68-degree night, Albert Pujols became immortal to baseball history in front of 21,915 with a line drive shot to left center.
Pujols tagged a 1-2 fastball with a runner on first with no outs in the fifth inning, and sent it beyond the fences in left center for the 500th home run of his career. He was greeted by his teammates and coaches at home plate, and gave high fives all around. It was a monumental moment in baseball history, and Nationals fans gave their appreciation for it, as Pujols was cheered by the opposing crowd as he came out of the dugout to tip his batting helmet for a curtain call and standing ovation.
Albert Pujols became the third youngest player in Major League Baseball history to reach the 500 home run mark, and became the 26th man to do it, ever. He became the first player ever to hit #499 and #500 in the same game, and became the second player to do it in an Angels uniform (Reggie Jackson). The home run was Pujols' league leading eighth of the season.
The 500th home run was caught by 29-year-old, Tom Sherrill, of Pomona, California. Sherrill is a member of the iof Air Force, and was sporting a San Diego Chargers t-shirt, of all things to wear at a baseball game. Mr. Sherrill asked for nothing in return for the baseball. Mr. Sherrill set an example for us to respect those who play the game and return to them their precious moments, that they share with us, as mere fans.
Pujols has eight years left on his contract and could reach many more milestones with a few simple numbers. To reach 600 home runs, Pujols would have to average 13 home runs a season to reach that plateau over his contract. To reach Willie Mays' 660 home runs, he'd have to average 21, Babe Ruth, 28, Hank Aaron, 33, and the to break the all-time record set by Barry Bonds, Pujols would have to average 34 home runs a season over what's left of his contract.
Is it possible? Yes! Pujols has proven this season already that he's still got quite a bit of gas in the tank, and is still one of the most feared hitters in the game.
Pujols may have reached a number 25 men before him did, but he's looking to reach a number no man before him did and stand a top of the podium of all-time, home run hitters.
For more updates and articles on the Los Angeles Angels, follow our Senior Publisher, @TaylorBlakeWard, on Twitter, and don't forget to follow @ScoutAngels and @ScoutMedia as well.