So I went to Albert Pujols’ Baseball-Reference page and dammit – that thing is a Picasso.
Every single year he played with the Cardinals – including his rookie year – he finished in the top 10 in NL MVP voting.
And even THAT is misleading, because if you take out his 2007 season where he finished 9th at the ballot box… he was in the top 5 the other 10 years.
That 2007 season? 8.7 WAR.
For comparison, Matt Carpenter led the Cardinals in WAR points in 2016 with 3.2. Only 9 Cardinals total got even 1 point.
#5 was the beasts of beasts. A decade long hitting clinic personified.
Albert Pujols had great moments before October 17th, 2005. He had great moments after October 17th, 2005. But when your kid’s kids pull up archival clips of ‘baseball’ in their embedded eyeball Rifts for a high school history project… they’re going to get one highlight that rises above the rest:
Look at those faces in the still. Says it all.
Brad Lidge, Houston’s closer? He got MVP votes in 2005. Before this moment, he might have been the most feared pitcher in baseball.
This was ‘The Block‘.
A star player imposing his will on the proceedings with such might that history will not just remember, but come to define the star.
In this exact moment above, Albert Pujols crossed the Rubicon into Cardinals and MLB immortality, giving fans a moment that has become shorthand for his dominance.
Photo: The Sports Fan Journal