Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols became the 32rd member of Major League Baseball’s 3,000 hit club Friday night in Seattle. Pujols reached the milestone with a broken bat single that dropped softly into right field.
It wasn’t the hardest hit ball during Pujols’ incredible career. Nor was it his prettiest hit. But it counted just the same as the 2,999 that came before it.
Speaking of all those hits, Daren Willman, the Director of Baseball Research and Development for MLB, put together a pretty incredible spray chart infographic that captures Pujols’ 18-season journey from hit No. 1, to his milestone 3,000th.
Congratulations to Albert Pujols on 3000 Hits. Let's take a look at what 3000 hits looks like over time… Amazing! pic.twitter.com/rb7ka9viZZ
— Daren Willman (@darenw) May 5, 2018
Of course Pujols’ official total is now 3,001 after he added a two-run single in the ninth inning of the Angels 5-0 win. His first 2,073 career hits came as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. His very first was a ground ball single against then Colorado Rockies left-hander Mike Hampton on April 2, 2001, at Coors Field.
In between one and 3,000 were 620 home runs, which puts Pujols in an even more exclusive group.
AND THERE IT IS … 3,000 hits for Albert Pujols.
Pujols joins Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez as the only major leaguers with 600 HR and 3,000 hits.
Hits by team: Cardinals 2,073, Angels 927.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 5, 2018
He’s also collected 626 career doubles, which is 11th all-time, and 16 triples.
Pujols has enjoyed a truly special career. One that will certainly lead him to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Nothing puts that into perspective better than seeing his first 3,000 hits come to life in one incredible spray chart.
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