Over this past weekend, Albert Pujols became the 9th member of the 600 HR Club. The thing that I want to bring up is how little people cared about this achievement. I don’t know if it was being he hit it out in LA and anything on the West Coast doesn’t happen, but it seemed like he got nothing greater than a small golf clap. This is crazy to me because when I was growing up, home run races were the first highlights of Sportscenter. I was only 4 in 1998, but I sort of remember the buzz in the media talking about Mac and Sosa’s HR duel. It was insane. I also remember Barry Bonds chasing and breaking the single season and all time records. People were losing their minds.
Fast forward to now. Albert Pujols blasts 600 HRs in his career and nobody bats an eyelash. Moneyball and sabermetrics have cut the glory of the long ball and it shows the changing times.
Pujols can climb to 7th all time by the end of this season, only being 9 behind Sosa and 12 behind Thome. Sosa and Thome are perfect examples of how people view home run hitters. These two aren’t considered HOFers by many people and that is crazy to me. They were two of the most feared hitters in the game during their careers. But since HRs are in the back-burner, these two guys might not ever sniff the Hall of Fame. Thome is up for voting next year so we shall see, but he is not a lock like he would have been back in the day. I still think he will get in though.
So shoutout to Albert Pujols, I know you’re a big fan of the blog. You and Miggy are the greatest hitters I have had the privilege to watch growing up. Congrats friend.