The future Hall of Famer joined the 500-home-run club with his pair of blasts, crossing yet another achievement off the list and becoming the 26th player in history to accomplish the feat, as the Los Angeles Angels Twitter feed noted:
Entering the day with 498 career homers, Pujols took Taylor Jordan deep in the first inning on a three-run shot, and then facing a one-two count in the fifth with Mike Trout on first, he made history with a drive over the left-center-field fence.
Here's a look at the historic blast:
Pujols, who began his career with 12 straight 30-plus-home-run seasons, including six campaigns with 40 or more, became one of the fastest players—both in terms of age and seasons—to accomplish the feat.
ESPN Stats & Info gave the details:
Albert Pujols: 4th player to hit 500 HR within first 14 seasons of career (McGwire, A-Rod, Willie Mays)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 23, 2014
Albert Pujols (age 34) is the 3rd youngest to reach 500 home runs, trailing Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx (both age 32)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 23, 2014
SportsCenter's Twitter feed noted some other history:
Albert Pujols is 1st player in MLB history to hit home runs No. 499 and 500 in the same game.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 23, 2014
Teammate Josh Hamilton took to Twitter after the Angels' 7-2 win to offer his sentiments:
More importantly for the Angels, it's evident that Pujols is healthy and once again feeling confident at the plate.
Following an injury-plagued, disappointing season that saw Pujols hit just 17 homers in his second year with the Angels, many thought it would take the dangerous slugger until May or June to hit No. 500.
Yet here we are on April 22, and Pujols is already nearly halfway to last year's total, leading the majors with eight jacks.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Bernie Miklasz saw the bigger picture:
Congrats to the great Albert Pujols on No. 500, but perhaps more important - he's back in synch (swing) and looks fresh.— Bernie Miklasz (@miklasz) April 23, 2014
The question now becomes simple: What's next?
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman laid out what Pujols, who is now just four homers behind Eddie Murray for No. 25 on the all-time list, would have to do to catch the all-time home-run leader, Barry Bonds:
if pujols averages 34 HRs thru rest of contract, he'll pass barry bonds. if he does, hed also be worth every penny of $240M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) April 23, 2014
How many home runs will Pujols end his career with?
That may be a pipe dream, as it would require Pujols to average 34 home runs into his 40s, but as we've seen in the past, this guy doesn't always adhere to human expectations.
Even if he doesn't keep up that torrid pace to catch Bonds, with the way the 34-year-old is currently swinging the bat, it certainly isn't out of the question for him to reach 600, a milestone that only eight other players in history have reached.
For now, though, none of that matters, because the newest "Mr. 500" once again looks like one of the most feared power hitters in the league.