Albert Pujols. A Historical milestone set to happen before my eyes, and I got to watch it. I have missed countless no-hitters at Safeco. I wanted to see history. I had to see history. I would probably never see anything like this again.
Albert Pujols is one of my least favorite players in the Major Leagues. I heard from a St. Louis Cardinals fan (on more than one occasion) that during their Winter Warm-up one year, he wouldn’t even look at fans when he signed autographs, and he had a terrible attitude. When the Cardinals won the world series back in 2011, Pujols, allegedly refused to sign a team ball so fans could purchase such items. In 2018, Pujols will make $30 million dollars. He drives a $250,000 Bentley, and his home in California cost $7.75 million dollars. He, more than likely, has a Hall of Fame career but does he have to be so disconnected from the fans? He works hard, I’ll admit. But when it comes to fans it seems like we are just peons that he can spit on.
One thing that Pujols has done for the community is his charitable organization. It’s nice to see players (who make a ton of money) give back in various ways. I can respect a guy for that. There is an article, (click here to read) about how Pujols helps those out in his home country, typically the workers who tend to the sugar can fields. His organization brings medical care, education and basic necessities to those who live in poverty.
Attending this game and seeing The Machine hit his 3,000th hit was something very special. Mainly because I probably will never see something like that again. There aren’t many players who are close enough with both 3,000 hits and 600 home runs that’ll reach the record books anytime soon. Alex Rodriguez was the last player to amass 3,000 hits and 6000 home runs. Miguel Cabrera and Robinson Cano are the next two who are the closes but their age is of concern. Both are closing in on age 40.
The magical hit came in the 5th inning. Albert Pujols dug into the batters box. Mike Leake looked on, received the sign from his catcher. Into the wind-up Leake went, and Pujols drove bloop single into right field. Mitch Haniger quickly fielded the ball, and the celebration began. To my surprise, a lot of Mariners fans stood up and gave Pujols a standing ovation. I didn’t really think many M’s fans were that tuned in regarding the milestone. Although, a huge message was displayed on the jumbo-tron after it happened, and subsequently that’s when all the applause started. There were quite a few Angels fans in attendance but they were mostly congregated along the third base side and behind the visitors dugout. The Angels dugout emptied and they all celebrated Pujols’ milestone near first base. Pujols removed his batting helmet and tipped it towards the crowd. For being 38, and having played in every season since 2001, it was really amazing to see such a milestone like this.
I remember Pujols as a hitting machine while watching games at Busch Stadium. Pujols was full of pop and energy during batting practice. He would slap hits into the gaps at the stadium and motor around first base with speed and tenacity. He was an ambitious ball player. Nowadays when I see him play, I can’t help to feel sorry for him. He smacks a hit and lumbers down the first base line with a slight but noticeable hitch in his gallop. He’s old. He’s beaten down but Father Time has been generous to him. He laces up those cleats every day, and gives it his best, and for that, I can respect the man. After all, he’s the Machine.
Final: Anaheim Angels 5 Seattle Mariners 0
Total Lifetime Games Attended: 138
Total Baseballs Snagged This Season: 15
Total Lifetime Baseballs Snagged: 373
Total Lifetime Foul Balls Snagged: 1
Total Lifetime Home Run Balls Snagged: 0