Albert Pujols ties Willie Mays with his 660th career home run

Albert Pujols jumps into tie for 5th-place on all-time home run list with No. 660

Albert Pujols took another step in his journey toward baseball immortality on Sunday.

The 40-year-old Pujols put the Los Angeles Angels ahead of the Colorado Rockies with a two-run home run off Carlos Estevez in the eighth inning at Coors Field, tying Willie Mays for fifth on the all-time list with 660. He now trails just Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Alex Rodriguez in a career that’s destined for first-ballot entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

It took Mays 2,980 games and 10,853 at-bats to hit his 660th home run in 1973. Pujols is on a quicker pace. Sunday was his 2,854th career game. After a fly ball to center in the fourth inning, the home run came on the 10,804th at-bat of his career, 49 fewer than it took Mays.

Where will Pujols end up on the all-time list?

Pujols had been stuck on 659 for more than a month. He hadn’t hit a home run in 22 straight games dating back to Aug. 5, the third-longest season-single drought in his career; he went 27 games without a homer to start the 2012 season and 26 games in 2011. The home run off the Rockies was his fourth of the 2020 season.

Now that he’s caught Mays, Pujols can continue his quest up the all-time leaderboard. He needs 36 to catch Rodriguez for fourth place at 696. Ruth is 54 away at 714, Aaron 95, and Bonds 102. Pujols has averaged 22 home runs a season over the last three years; on that pace, he’ll have to play another five seasons, until he’s 45, to catch Bonds and become baseball’s all-time home run king.

Estevez is the 426th different pitcher Pujols has hit a home run off of in his career. Pujols has homered in 38 different ballparks and hit at least two off all 30 MLB clubs. He’s in the top-five in career home runs for two different franchises, the Angels and the Cardinals. He’s also third on the all-time RBI list, behind only Aaron and Ruth.

Pujols is one of the greats in baseball history, and on Sunday, he took his rightful place alongside another legend who he’ll one day join in Cooperstown.

Next: Chicago Cubs’ Alec Mills throws a no-hitter

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