The 3,000 hit club just got bigger on April 4th, 2018, when future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols hit number 3,000 in the 5th inning off of Mike Leake in the contest between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field. Pujols had a shot at 3,000 on May 3rd against the Baltimore Orioles after hitting a double to get number 2,999, but Pujols would have to wait one more day as he did not record a hit for the rest of the game as the Angels blew out the Orioles 12-3.
Albert Pujols is now tied with Roberto Clemente at exactly 3,000 hits and will pass up the next highest player on the list, Al Kaline with 3,007 career hits, shortly. Pujols is just the second Dominican-born player to compile 3,000 hits and is the first to reach the benchmark since Adrian Beltre in 2017.
With a single down the right-field line, Pujols had made history by becoming the 32nd player to ever compile 3,000 career hits as well as becoming just the 4th player in Major League Baseball history with 3,000 hits and 600 home runs. The Machine joins Hank Aaron (3,771 hits, 755 home runs), Willie Mays (3,283 hits, 660 home runs) and Alex Rodriguez (3,115 hits, 696 home runs) as the only players to ever accomplish the amazing feat.
In 2018, Pujols has hit .248 with 6 home runs, 17 RBI, 31 hits, 14 runs, and a 0.0 WAR in 125 at-bats. In his illustrious career, Pujols has thus far hit .304 with 620 home runs, 1935 RBI, 3,000 hits, and 99.5 WAR. Pujols is a sure-fire Hall of Famer and his 3,000th career hit, as well as anything else he does from now until he retires, is icing on the cake.
La Machina has always specialized in coming through in big moments from Pujols’ 3-run bomb in Game 5 of the National League Central Series to put a nail in the Houston Astros’ coffin to hitting career home run number 600 on a grand slam, but oddly enough, Pujols single was not in a big moment or a tough situation. Number 3,000 was a single to right fielder Mitch Haniger to move Justin Upton to second base with 2 outs in the 5th, yet the moment was perfect.
Albert Pujols had done something that just 31 other men in Major League history had accomplished. For that moment, no one cared what Pujols’ batting average or on-base percentage was. Season home run totals and RBI counts didn’t matter, because everyone watching at Safeco or on their TV at home had witnessed one of the greatest players in Major League history accomplish one of the most difficult feats in Major League history.