Major League Baseball star Albert Pujols has hit his 400th career home run. The St. Louis Cardinals' first baseman reached the milestone Thursday night here in Washington, where the Nationals ultimately won the game, 11-10, in 13 innings.
Albert Pujols' solo blast over the outfield wall in the fourth inning made him the 47th major league player, and the third youngest, to reach 400 career home runs. At 30 years, 222 days old, Pujols is close behind New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was 29 years old, and recently retired Ken Griffey, Jr. who was 141 days past age 30.
Pujols also is the first player in baseball history to hit 400 homers within his first 10 seasons. It is accomplishments like that that have earned him the nickname, "The Machine."
The Dominican Republic native says hitting 400 home runs is a special milestone, but there will be time later in life for savoring his personal record. "I don't play for numbers. You know, I don't just worry about how many home runs, or what am I hitting or how many runs I drive in. I don't play for that because at the end of my career, you know, I can look back and enjoy [it] with my kids and my family," he said.
Pujols might not take much interest in his individual numbers, but many fans, teams and players do. In fact, Cincinnati Reds All-Star first baseman Joey Votto is very interested in how well the Cardinals' "big bat" is doing.
Votto and Pujols are very close to leading the National League in three all hitting categories this season - batting average, home runs and runs batted in. Either could become the first Major Leaguer to win the so-called "Triple Crown" since Carl Yastrzemski did with the Boston Red Sox back in 1967.
The Reds and the Cardinals have been in a tight battle all year for the first place in the National League Central Division, in part, because of Votto and Pujols' batting talents.
Pujols and Votto also are leading contenders for this year's National League's Most Valuable Player award. Albert "The Machine" Pujols has won the honor for the last three seasons.