The home run ball from Albert Pujols’ 697th shot is in great hands.
The St. Louis Cardinals star hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon, which moved him into sole possession of fourth place in MLB’s all-time home runs list.
He’s three away from hitting the 700 mark in the final stretch of his career.
PUJOLS IS IN SOLE POSSESION OF 4TH ALL-TIME! pic.twitter.com/UMj2W6wjRp
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 11, 2022
The fans who caught that ball at PNC Park, Matt and Samantha Brown, tried to return the ball to Pujols after the Cardinals’ 4-3 win.
After meeting with Pujols and sharing their story, Pujols had another idea. Samantha’s father had died exactly a year ago, according to the Belleville News’ Jeff Jones. So, Pujols told them to keep the ball, and signed two more for them on top of it.
Matt and Samantha Brown caught Pujols’s 697th homer. Samantha’s
father passed away one year ago today. They met with Albert to give him the ball back — he told them to keep it and signed two more for them. Said it would mean more to her than to him. pic.twitter.com/FuXXFiYCIa
— Jeff Jones (@jmjones) September 11, 2022
The ball, while it would have been a great keepsake for Pujols, is now a historic, and incredibly meaningful, souvenir for the pair of Pirates fans. What a gesture.
Pujols, who is set to retire at the end of the season, is trying to become the fourth player in history to hit at least 700 career home runs. The highest active player on that list, Pujols would join Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds, who leads the all-time list at 762.
The Cardinals have won two straight and lead the NL Central with 21 games left in the regular season.