It was an early June home run, just one of 623 in the career of Albert Pujols.
But the solo drive at Target Field on Saturday had significant meaning: Pujols pulled even with Stan Musial in career RBIs with 1,951.
“It was pretty emotional,” Pujols said Sunday after driving in three more runs to pass his former St. Louis Cardinals teammate, who died in 2013. “I tried not to show it too much because we still had to play a baseball game.”
Pujols remains in contact with Musial’s family and plans to give them his uniform and bat from this weekend.
“I believe they deserve that,” he said, adding that Musial’s family donated items for his charity foundation.
Pujols passed Musial for sixth all-time with a first-inning single Sunday. In the ninth, he drove in two more runs to push his career total to 1,954. Next on the list is Lou Gehrig with 1,995.
“I don’t have any words right now to describe it,” Pujols said. Speaking of Musial’s place in St. Louis lore, he added, “He was a hero for everybody.”
Since joining the Angels as a free agent in the winter of 2011, Pujols has frequently been visited by a large group of St. Louis fans during road games.
Pujols hosted dinner for them Saturday night.
“I can close my eyes and just think about it,” he said, recalling his time with Musial. “The smile and just the kind words he said to me. Those mean a lot. Those are the things you can take with you no matter how long you play.”
Scioscia moving up
Mike Scioscia, who passed Tommy Lasorda in career managerial victories in May, eclipsed Fred Clark last week to move into 19th place all-time.
“Having the opportunity to be here as long as I have is something I do not take for granted,” he said of his 19 seasons in Anaheim. “I know it’s been an incredible opportunity.”
Scioscia now has 1,607 wins and needs 13 more to pass Ralph Houk.
He likely would have to manage a 20th full season and part of a 21st to catch Jim Leyland, who’s at No. 17 with 1,769 wins.