Just the Third (or Fifth) Player Ever...

...to reach 2000 RBIs. Albert Pujols made history Thursday when he homered off the Tigers' Ryan Carpenter at Comerica Park, to join Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez in that exclusive circle. Babe Ruth and Cap Anson really belong there, too -- but more about that later*.

You need to be productive and durable to drive in 2000 runs. In his 19th season, Pujols has AVERAGED more than 100 RBIs per year. Not just over a half dozen or even 10 years, but 19. He was also lucky to reach the majors at age 21. Players with longer apprenticeships. in the minor leagues and/or college, start at a disadvantage.

Back to Pujols, look at his first ten seasons with the Cardinals -- where he drove in at least 100 runs and hit over .310 every year. That's arguably the best first decade for any player ever. Right there with Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig, whom Pujols will one day join in Cooperstown.

And though his numbers have come down with age, Pujols remains a power threat in an Angel lineup where he hits behind Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons.

Not flashy, but steady and solid -- and now among very special company, welcome Albert Pujols to Club 2000.

*Because Runs Batted In didn't become an official statistic until 1920, the 224 runs Ruth drove in during the first six years of his career don't "count."  That leaves the Bambino with 1992 officially, 2214 otherwise, still second all-time to Aaron. Thanks to diligent research, the 19th century star Anson has been unofficially credited with 2075 RBI. 
Perhaps in this milestone year that professional baseball celebrates its 150th anniversary, that silly barrier preventing certified pre-1920 RBIs needs to be erased. There's no reason not to have one more reason to celebrate the Babe, or have fans, with so much data and history at their fingertips, from learning more about Anson. 


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