Albert Pujols is nearing his illustrious 3,000th hit and for some reason no one is really talking about it. I would bet if you ask most sports fans if Albert Pujols is still in the league, majority of them would say he retired years ago.
If there is one thing to take away from this article it is this, don’t forget about Albert Pujols.
I know that seems like a ridiculous statement seeing as he is one of the greatest hitters of all time but it rings true. Ever since Albert signed a 10 year, $210 million contract in Los Angeles, he has been an afterthought. I think he deserves that criticism. He has not lived up to that contract and he is hidden on the west coast. Superstars on the west coast tend to be forgotten about unless you’re Steph Curry or play for the Lakers. It is just the nature of the beast. People are not usually awake to watch you perform so in order to be remembered you better be spectacular. Albert has been close to the opposite of that.
As he approaches 3,000 hits, I choose to remember Pujols as one of the greatest hitters to ever live. It has been a steady decline since he left St. Louis but just take a look at the ridiculous numbers he put up for the Cardinals.
He hit over .300 ten out of his eleven seasons, the one year he missed he hit a measly .299. He slugged over .600 seven out of eleven seasons. He had an on base percentage over .400 nine out of eleven seasons. He hit over 30 homeruns every single season with the Cardinals. He had over 100 RBIs every year but one, the year he missed he had 99 RBIs. He hit over .300 every year with the Cardinals, the one time he didn’t he hit .299. He scored over 100 runs every year but one, the year he missed 100 runs? You guessed it, 99 runs. Albert was an absolute model of consistency. He rarely got hurt and played in over 150 games most years with the Cardinals. He won Rookie of the Year, was MVP three times, won two gold gloves, and was an All Star nine out of eleven years.
The consistency of those numbers is absolutely incredible. He was one of the most feared hitters in baseball for a decade. He led the Cardinals to two World Series championships. For God’s sake, the guy still has a .305 lifetime batting average. His numbers have dipped a bit in the last 5 or so years but the one thing Albert Pujols will always be able to do is hit a baseball. He has hit under .250 only twice in his entire career.
I understand there is a new crop of young stars in baseball and a lot of people consider Albert Pujols a complete afterthought. I am asking you all one favor, please don’t do that. As a diehard Cubs fan, I will always remember for the dominant force that he was. Here’s to the Machine, congrats on achieving a feat most humans dream of. Just remember that he is not a machine, he is just Albert.