Just days after hitting his 700th career home run, St. Louis Cardinals legend Albert Pujols showed why he’s a stand-up human being, as well.
Pujols isn’t above talking to a rookie on the opposing team, as he showed during Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Likely in his final season with the Cardinals, Pujols recorded a single in the sixth inning in Los Angeles. While on the infield, Pujols made it a point to congratulate Miguel Vargas, a Dodgers prospect who hit his first home run earlier in that game.
“I didn’t have words to talk to him. He’s an icon for Latin guys. I was just looking at him like, wow, Albert Pujols is at my side,” Vargas said.
Albert Pujols doesn’t forget where he came from
Vargas was only in the lineup due to a late scratch for everyday first baseman Freddie Freeman. In the same game, he hit his first career homer.
It’s like the first of many for Vargas, who is one of the best prospects in the Dodgers organization.
He was able to retrieve said home run ball from the fan who caught it in exchange for three autographed baseballs.
A first for Vargas, and a 700th for Pujols. The disparity is quite a lot, but we’ll see where Vargas is 21 seasons from now.
As for Pujols, he gave in to the enormity of the moment to the media. All season, he’s suggested numbers are just that, and not a big deal for him. It’s the same reason he let a fan keep his 700th home run ball.
“Look, don’t get me wrong, I know what my place is in this game. But since Day 1, when I made my debut, it was never about numbers, it was never about chasing numbers. It was always about winning championships and trying to get better in this game. And I had so many people that taught me the right way early in my career, and that’s how I’ve carried myself for 22 years that I’ve been in the big leagues. That’s why I really don’t focus on the numbers. I will one day, but not right now,” Pujols said.
There will never be another player, or man, like Albert Pujols in the majors.