Categorized | Cardinals

Albert’s Blast Moves Him Past The Hawk

In the fifth inning of Sunday’s ball game against the Chicago Cubs, Albert Pujols drove a 1-1 pitch from Rodrigo Lopez into the left field seats, connecting for his 439th home run of his 11 year major league career.

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The blast would move Pujols further into elite company and break a tie with Hall Of Famer Andre Dawson. Pujols now sits alone in 38th place on the all time home run list.

Dawson was most remembered for his years north of the border in Montreal as a member of the Expos. Secondary to that, however, was his career as a Chicago Cub. While Dawson hit 438 home runs in his career, he would post an impressive run against Cardinal pitching over his 21 year career. During that span of time, he would face the St. Louis Cardinals a total of 260 games, with 248 of them coming as a starter. Dawson would post a slash line of .298/.510/.851 while driving 41 home runs, 55 doubles, 17 triples, 153 runs batted in, and 32 stolen bases. In terms of power numbers, Dawson hit against the Cardinals better than every club except the Philadelphia Phillies in his career.

Pujols had fared well against the Chicago Cubs, for that matter. Over the course of his still young career, Pujols has faced the Cubs 170 times, 168 as a starter. His slash line against the north-siders is .302/.617/1.023 with 52 home runs, 34 doubles, and 134 runs batted in. He has indeed hit the Cubs better than any other team in his career.

While Pujols has moved into sole possession of 38th place on the all time list, he finds himself climbing another list that he will have to decide if he wishes to continue to climb. Pujols finds himself in 12th place for most home runs hit by a player for one single team in his career. The list is as follows:

Player Team Home Runs
Mike Schmidt Philadelphis Phillies 548
Mickey Mantle New York Yankees 536
Ted Williams Boston Red Sox 521
Ernie Banks Chicago Cubs 512
Mel Ott New York Giants 511
Lou Gehrig New York Yankees 493
Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals 475
Willie Stargell Pittsburgh Pirates 475
Carl Yastrzemski Boston Red Sox 452
Jeff Bagwell Houston Astros 449
Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves 448
Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals 438

Time will tell if Albert continues to climb that list.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
He is the host of I-70 Radio, hosted every week on BlogTalkRadio.com.
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4 Responses to “Albert’s Blast Moves Him Past The Hawk”

  1. Doug B says:

    Hank Aaron – Braves – 733
    Babe Ruth – Yankees – 659
    Willie Mays – Giants – 646
    Harmon Killebrew – Nats/Twins – 559
    Sammy Sosa – Cubs – 545

  2. Bill Ivie says:

    I apologize if I was unclear (and reading it, I was) but the above chart is home runs hit by one player that spent his entire career with one team.

    That qualifier (entire career with one team) eliminates everyone on your list, though admittedly it barely eliminates the great Killebrew.

    Thanks for reading and the feedback!

  3. Doug B says:

    I realized what you meant. But in truth it seems artificial. Often times a player has no control over where he plays, particularly his final seasons or his first few seasons before he has established himself or has a no-trade clause. Even if Pujols signs a ghastly huge contract with the Cardinals it is very possible that his last 1-2 years could see him dealt to another team.

    I am an admitted Brewers fan. So I lose credibility here right off the bat. But I would not sign Pujols for 8 years and 200 million. I also would not sign Fielder for 7 years and 175 million. Either of those contracts would cripple the team. Ryan Howard is barely worth his money right now and I could see the Phillies stuck with their own Alfonso Soriano in 2 years.

    Huge contracts make sense for Ryan Braun or Troy Tulowitski types just entering their prime. While Fielder should remain a good hitter for a long time I just view him as a DH pretending to be a first baseman. And for that reason he’s not worth the 20+ million.

    Just let Pujols go fishing for a huge deal and see what happens. Don’t be like the Dodgers with Manny Ramirez cometing with no one and offering a back breaking contract. The Cubs might just try and sign Fielder or Pujols. It won’t be enough to make them good and it will continue to kill them. So I’d love to see it happen.

  4. Bill Ivie says:

    Doug,

    Thanks for coming back by and sharing your thoughts.

    I have to say that when it comes to Albert, I think his career in StL deserves to stay there. I agree that too big of a contract would cripple a team, but there’s something to be said about branding and revenue (see: Jeter/Yankees).

    As for the list, I think the fickleness of players being moved, especially late in their careers, makes this list that much more intriguing. How many players can say they spent their entire career with one team? Better yet, how many elite players can say the same? It does limit this list and it is beyond the players control, but many things are and that is one of the things that makes players like Jeter and Pujols that much more special.

    In the winter of 2011-2012, Albert has complete control over whether he remains on this list or not. The ball is in his court.

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