Pujols Going Where No Man Has Gone Before

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols needs just four more runs scored in his last four games to become the first major leaguer to achieve .300/100/30/100 for the seventh consecutive season to start his career.

With a home run in his first at-bat against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, Albert Pujols reached the 100 RBI mark both in 2007 and in each of his first seven Major League seasons.

A number of media sources are incorrectly stating that the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman is the only man to achieve that mark. While not first, Pujols is in pretty good company. The reality is that he becomes the first player since Boston Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Ted Williams (1939-‘42, ‘46-‘49) to achieve that early-career distinction.

Wednesday's home run was Pujols' 32nd of the season. When he hit number 30 on August 22, Pujols became the only player in history to achieve that many in each of his first seven seasons as a Major Leaguer.

Pujols celebrates his 100th RBI

Despite a painful calf injury, the slugger has been on fire at the plate in recent days. With the home run and a single on Wednesday, Pujols has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games with an at-bat. During that period, he is pasting the ball at a .410 clip (25-for-61). His results during that stretch include two home runs, 15 RBIs and eleven runs scored.

Still just 27 years of age, Pujols moved ahead of Ken Boyer (255 home runs) back in April into second place on the Cardinals all-time home run list. His current career total is 282. Stan Musial (475) is the team's all-time home run leader.

Last season, Pujols had already become the youngest MLB player ever to achieve 250 career home runs and youngest to log 2000 total bases.

With a .325 batting mark here in 2007, Pujols is almost certain to also hit over .300 in each of his first seven seasons. With three runs scored on Wednesday, he needs just four more in his final four games to score 100 times, which would also be achieved for the seventh straight year.

In the history of Major League Baseball, no man has ever put seven consecutive .300/100/30/100 seasons on the books to start their career. No one until Albert Pujols threatened the mark, that is.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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