Throughout the world of baseball, the treasured mark of 500 home runs has been a milestone that showed excellence and reaching it virtually guaranteed that the player would end up in the Hall of Fame. Over the years, however, with rumors of cheating and other things in the media about the world of baseball, some have stated that the 500 mark has been tainted. All of that may change, however, in 2012, as one of the most popular players in the game, Albert Pujols, nears the milestone.
Pujols has spent most of his career as a beloved player for the St. Louis Cardinals. At the end of the 2011 season, however, he became a free agent. The Cardinals decided to not buy his contract and Pujols was free to look elsewhere for another team. Now, he is set to start the 2012 season with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He is not only switching teams, he is switching leagues, from the National League to the American League.
It seems unlikely that Pujols will not reach the 500 home run mark in 2012. As his stats currently stand he has 445 home runs. He also has a batting average of .328. He has over 2,000 hits, as well as 455 doubles and 1,329 runs batted in. He is a nine-time All Star for the National League and a two-time World Series champion. In his last visit to the World Series he joined the likes of Babe Ruth in hitting three home runs during the championships series. He is even a two-time winner of the Hank Aaron Award for the National League.
Given his history of steady hitting and even opening day heroics, it seems almost impossible, barring an injury or some other serious obstacle, that he will not join the club of 500 home run hitters in the year 2012. Given the fact he is also changing to a league that is often considered friendlier to hitters, this means that it is even more likely to reach the milestone. And when he does, given the fact that Pujols has had a career virtually free from controversy or accusations of cheating or steroid usage, many feel that his reaching the milestone could return some honor to it, without asterisks or controversy.
Fans will be waiting to find out when Pujols will reach the milestone. He has hit several home runs on opening days in the past. For fans of baseball, the 2012 season will definitely be one to watch, and Albert Pujols will be at the top of the list of players that people will be keeping an eye on.