Flashback: Pujols’ illustrious career had milestone HRs aplenty

El Hombre has done it.

On Saturday, Albert Pujols became just the ninth player in major-league history to hit 600 home runs after taking Minnesota Twins starter Ervin Santana deep for a grand slam in the fourth inning.

Pujols joins a very exclusive list of home run hitters to reach the 600 plateau: Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome, and Sammy Sosa.

Since making his debut in 2001, Pujols has been one of baseball’s most potent power hitters, immediately making a scene by swatting 37 home runs in his rookie year and never hitting fewer than 17 in a season.

With Pujols reaching 600, let’s head back in time to take a look at some of his other milestone homers.

No. 1

April 6, 2001 will go down in history as the first time Pujols cleared the fences in what would eventually become a historic MLB career. Four games into his first season, a 21-year-old Pujols absolutely hammered an offering from Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Armando Reynoso deep into the left-field stands for a homer which would "not be nearly the last" of his career, as predicted by the broadcast.

No. 100

On July 20, 2003, Pujols reached the century mark in just his third season in the big leagues. The St. Louis Cardinals slugger left Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw Odalis Perez shaking his head, as he trotted around the bases with a swaggy gold chain bouncing off his god-like physique. Pujols would smack 43 long balls that season while leading the NL in runs scored (137), hits (212), doubles (51), and total bases (394).

No. 200

With the bases loaded and a roaring crowd of Redbirds fans standing on their feet at Busch Stadium on Sept. 30, 2005, Pujols delivered the 200th home run of his career in epic fashion when he hammered a pitch from Cincinnati Reds right-hander Matt Belisle to deep left-center for a grand slam. That invoked quite the ovation from the fans in attendance, who requested Pujols step out of the dugout for a curtain call.

No. 300

One of the greatest rivalries in baseball bore witness to one of Pujols' milestone home runs July 4, 2008 when the Dominican slugger torched a pitch from Chicago Cubs right-hander Bob Howry down the left-field line and just inside the foul pole for the 300th dinger of his career. Pujols has hit more home runs (56) against the Cubs than any other team during his big-league career.

No. 400

Even though No. 400 didn't take place in St. Louis, Pujols received a respectful ovation from Washington Nationals fans on Aug. 26, 2010 after a mammoth blast deep over the right-center field stands gave him No. 400 for his career. Pujols became just the second Cardinals player in franchise history to reach 400 home runs, joining Stan Musial.

No. 500

The name Taylor Jordan will go down in history alongside Pujols for not one, but two reasons. The Nationals pitcher not only allowed home run No. 499 to Pujols, but home run No. 500 as well. Pujols, wearing the halo of the Los Angeles Angels, twice took the right-hander deep on April 22, 2014 to reach 500, joining just 27 other players who reached the historic big-league mark.

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