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Albert Pujols Joins the 500 Club

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We've got our first milestone of the 2014 baseball season! Last night against the Nationals, Angels slugger Albert Pujols hit two home runs to help lead LA to a 7-2 win. But the second dinger, which came in the 5th inning, was the 500th homer of Pujols' career. He's the 26 player in MLB history to reach the mark, and he did it with an exclamation point, crushing the ball into deep centerfield:

You might be wondering who's ahead of Pujols on the all-time home runs list. At the very top is Barry Bonds with 762 homers, followed by Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), and Alex Rodriguez (654). Directly ahead of Pujols at the bottom of the 500 Home Run Club list is Eddie Murray (504), Gary Sheffield (509), MellOtt (511), Eddie Mathews (512), and Ernie Banks (512). And within striking distance is Frank Thomas, Willie McCovey, and Ted Williams (all with 521 home runs), Jimmie Foxx (534), and Mickey Mantle (536).

Pujols already has eight home runs this season and has played in 19 of the Angels' 20 games. That puts him on pace for about 65 home runs this season. Pujols probably won't hit that many, but he's sure to climb up the all-time home runs list over the course of the year. And it'll be a lot of fun watching him do it.

How many home runs do you think Albert Pujols will hit the season? Where does he rank among the best hitters to play baseball? Let us know in the comments section below!

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

albert pujols 500 home runs los angeles angels