Honored With Gold-Plated Bat, Pujols Hits 701

Retiring star is playing his final series at Busch Stadium
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 1, 2022 12:15 PM CDT
Pujols Receives Gold-Plated Bat, Then Hits No. 701
The Cardinals' Albert Pujols follows through on a solo home run during the fourth inning Friday night in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

It had been a solid week since Albert Pujols had hit a home run. When the Cardinals returned home to St. Louis on Friday night, a pregame ceremony recognized that homer, his 700th, and the owners presented the star with a gold-plated bat to mark the milestone. In the fourth inning, he gave a little back to the fans, launching No. 701 into the third deck in left field at Busch Stadium, CBS Sports reports, tying the game. The drive off Pirates starter Johan Oviedo left the bat with an exit velocity of 102.6mph and carried about 398 feet, per Statcast.

The crowd answered with a long standing ovation until Pujols stepped out of the dugout for a curtain call, tipping his cap to fans, per ESPN. "It's pretty awesome,'' Pujols said, adding, "It's pretty good just to be embraced like this." Pujols, 42, is retiring after this season. The Cardinals, who won Friday's game, will be in the postseason, but the three games against the Pirates this season represent the final regular season series of his career at Busch Stadium. After hitting 22 home runs this season, Pujols is fourth on the all-time list, 13 behind Babe Ruth. Having being given the gold bat in an emotional ceremony, receiving several standing ovations, and hitting a homer, Pujols said: "I mean this is what I've been getting all year long, but today was extra special. It was a great night overall.'' (More Albert Pujols stories.)

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