On April 13, 2014 Albert Pujols hit home run number 495 of his career in the Los Angeles Angels 14-2 win over the New York Mets. It was his third home run of the season and moved him within five home runs of becoming the most recent member of the 500 Home Run Club. If not for an injured left foot that sidelined him last August there is no reason he wouldn’t have joined the club in 2013. Only 25 players in the history of Major League Baseball have hit more than 500 home runs and Pujols is looking to become the 26th.
|Player||Career Home Runs||Date of #500|
|Barry Bonds||762||April 17, 2001|
|Hank Aaron||755||July 14, 1968|
|Babe Ruth||714||August 11, 1929|
|Willie Mays||660||September 13, 1965|
|Alex Rodriguez *||654||August 4, 2007|
|Ken Griffey Jr.||630||June 20, 2004|
|Jim Thome||612||September 16, 2007|
|Sammy Sosa||609||April 4, 2004|
|Frank Robinson||586||September 13, 1971|
|Mark McGwire||583||August 5, 1999|
|Harmon Killebrew||573||August 10, 1971|
|Rafael Palmeiro||569||May 11, 2003|
|Reggie Jackson||563||September 17, 1984|
|Manny Ramirez||555||May 31, 2008|
|Mike Schmidt||548||April 18, 1987|
|Mickey Mantle||536||May 14, 1967|
|Jimmie Foxx||534||September 24, 1940|
|Willie McCovey||521||June 30, 1978|
|Frank Thomas||521||June 28, 2007|
|Ted Williams||521||June 17, 1960|
|Ernie Banks||512||May 12, 1970|
|Eddie Matthews||512||July 14, 1967|
|Mel Ott||511||August 1, 1945|
|Gary Sheffield||509||April 17, 2009|
|Eddie Murray||504||September 6, 1996|
|* - Active|
500 HOME RUN CLUB FACTS
– The first player to hit 500 home runs in a career – Babe Ruth on August 11, 1929.
– The last player to hit 500 home runs in a career – Gary Sheffield on April 17, 2009.
– The youngest player to hit 500 home runs in a career – Alex Rodriguez at 32 years and eight days old.
– The oldest player to hit 500 home runs in a career – Ted Williams at 41 years and 295 days old.
– Least at-bats to reach 500 home runs in a career – Mark McGwire with 5,487.
– Most at-bats to reach 500 home runs in a career – Eddie Murray with 11,095.
– Hit all 500 career home runs with one team – Ernie Banks (Chicago Cubs), Mickey Mantle (New York Yankees), Mel Ott (New York Giants), Mike Schmidt (Philadelphia Phillies), and Ted Williams (Boston Red Sox).
– 500 Home Run Club members who also are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame – 15 (Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Jimmie Foxx, Reggie Jackson, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Eddie Matthews, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray, Mel Ott, Frank Robinson, Babe Ruth, Mike Schmidt, Ted Williams).
ALBERT PUJOLS’ JOURNEY TO 500 HOME RUNS
Albert Pujols started his career with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2001. He hit his first home run on April 6, 2001 against Armando Reynoso of the Arizona Diamondbacks. During his 11 years with the Cardinals he hit 445 home runs, which is second all-time on the teams’ career leader board behind only Stan Musial who has 475. In his first two seasons (2012-2013) with the Los Angeles Angels (I wish they would go back to the California Angels but that is another article for another day) he hit 47 home runs and has added three so far this season. The Chicago Cubs have given up more home runs to Pujols than any other team at 56. Ryan Dempster has given up the most home runs of any pitcher with eight, seven as a member of the Chicago Cubs (2004-2012) and one as a member of the Boston Red Sox (2013).
Taking into account his average of one home run every 14.8 at bats or one home run every four games, I am predicting Pujols joins the 500 Home Run Club in the beginning of May. To narrow it down a bit more I am predicting it happens on May 6, 2014 in Anaheim against the New York Yankees.
WHO WILL JOIN ALBERT PUJOLS NEXT?
After Pujols joins the 500 Home Run Club the talk will then turn to who is next. The two likely candidates (based off age and distance from 500 home runs) are Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox and David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Adam Dunn currently sits at 442 home runs (two this season) and at the age of 34, barring any major injury is almost a lock to hit 500 home runs. He could accomplish the feat around the 95-100 game mark in the 2015 season. David Ortiz currently sits at 433 home runs (two this season), and at age 38 does not have as much time as Adam Dunn but 500 home runs are certainly within reach. He could accomplish the feat around the 150-155 game mark in the 2015 season.
When do you think Pujols will hit his 500th home run? Who do you think is the next player to join him?