Every baseball milestone needs a bit of folklore and, if Albert Pujols’ teammates are to be believed, the slugger supplied it with a Ruthian touch Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Angels say he called the shot — both shots — after getting a feeling that it would be his night during batting practice.
“He said he was going to hit two homers and drive in five runs and that today was his day,” Erick Aybar said (via Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times). Aybar believed him because “everyone believes Albert.”
Mike Trout vouched for him, too.
“If Albert tells you something,” he said, “he’s going to do it.”
Pujols hit his 499th home run, a three-run blast in the first inning, and a two-run blast for No. 500 in the fifth — fulfilling his HR and RBI prophecies. He is just the 26th player to reach 500 and, at 34 years and 96 days of age, is the third-youngest to reach 500 (behind Alex Rodriguez at 32 years, 8 days and Jimmie Foxx at 32, 338 days).
There was just one problem with Pujol’s prediction: it came on so suddenly that his wife, Deidre, and five kids weren’t present for the occasion. He’d told her that if he hit 499 in Washington, she should hop on a plane, but that didn’t exactly work out. Some Nostradamus he is.
“You guys are going to laugh at me, but when I scored, I went in and called her and she was doing her nails,” Pujols said. “Everyone was telling her, ‘Congratulations,’ and she was like, ‘Did you just hit 500?’ And I was like, ‘Sorry.’ “