Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, St. Louis Cardinals

Albert Pujols: Hitting 700th at Dodger Stadium was “special” for a reason

Besides Busch Stadium in St. Louis, there was no better place for Albert Pujols to hit his 700th home run than Dodger Stadium.

In May 2021, Albert Pujols was released from his lucrative multi-year contract with the Anaheim Angels. With almost two decades in major league baseball, it wasn’t how anyone would have envisioned for one of the greatest hitters of all time.

Thankfully, Pujols agreed this wasn’t how he would go out and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers a week later.

How the Dodgers helped Albert Pujols recapture his love of baseball

With the Dodgers, Pujols found a fit to contribute to a winning team and mentor a talented group of young athletes. He went from a player going through the motions with the Angels to a player with a purpose for the Dodgers.

It might be an understatement to say that it was “special” that Pujols was able to knock his 699th and 700th home runs at Dodger Stadium. He honored the organization and its fans for their love and trust in bringing him into their fold after his time with the Angels ended. He might not have reached the milestone without the Dodgers.  He could have just retired and called it a career.

But that’s not Pujols’ way. He had more to prove. The Dodgers and, in turn, the Cardinals have given him that opportunity.

“To be able to do it here, at Dodger Stadium … my joy, pretty much, of this game came back being in the postseason and in the clubhouse a few feet away from here, ” Pujols told media after the game Friday. “It’s pretty special.”

The 699th home run came off one-time Angels teammate Andrew Heaney in the third inning. The homer traveled 434 feet at 108 mph. The 700th home run came in the fourth inning of Friday’s game off Phil Bickford. The blast traveled 389 feet at 99.8 mph.

The reception he got from the crowd, along with current and former teammates, was terrific to watch. He seemed to have a weight lifted from his shoulders as he rounded third base on the 700th home run.

It was a special moment, indeed.

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