Albert Pujols is quietly climbing up baseball’s all-time home run list, and on Sunday he joined company only five others before him have done.
Pujols hit his 660th career home run in a 5-3 Angels win over the Rockies at Coors field, tying Willie Mays for fifth all time.
The right-handed slugger crushed a two-run blast off Carlos Estevez in the eighth inning, which put the Angels ahead by one run.
Pujols has spoken before about how much it means to him to be mentioned in the same breath as Mays, and the Hall of Famer even texted him when the Angels were in San Francisco that it was his time to pass him on the list.
“Legend,” Pujols said, per MLB.com. “I mean, it’s unbelievable. It’s something you dream about. I got the chance to meet him several times when we went to San Francisco. He’s just a legend, it’s amazing to be able to have my name in the same sentence as Willie Mays. It’s just unbelieveable, really humbling. … it’s a legacy that will live forever.”
Only Alex Rodriguez, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds stand in front of Pujols – who will join some of those baseball giants in the Hall of Fame once his career is over.
Pujols has reached several milestones already this season, despite the brevity of it, surpassing Rodriguez for second place on the all-time RBI list and Craig Biggio for fifth on the all-time doubles list, which he did on Saturday.
Whether or not Pujols will pass Mays before the season ends will be worth watching these final two weeks. It had been over a month since home run No. 659, which came on Aug. 4.
“I don’t think about it,” Pujols said. “If I did, I would be hitting a bunch of ground balls, striking out and not putting up good swings. I knew sooner or later, whether it was this year or next year, it was gonna happen. It was just a matter of time.”