SI NOW

May 11, 2015

500TH EPISODE

ALBERT PUJOLS

SI Now celebrated its 500th episode last Thursday by welcoming a few big names who could relate, including the Angels' nine-time All Star, who belted home run number 500 in April 2014.

TOM VERDUCCI: In the 1999 draft you lasted into the 13th round. Do you still have a chip on your shoulder?

ALBERT PUJOLS: You give me chills when you mention that; I was really disappointed. I wanted to quit baseball for a minute. I came back crying and told my wife, "I remember when I was in the D.R., I could have signed for 30 pairs of batting gloves; I just wanted to play baseball." I gave myself a three-year shot: If I don't make it to the big leagues, then I quit. I use that. There were a couple of people in the Cardinals' organization that said I was just a draft-and-follow guy, that I wasn't going to make it.

TV: When did Tony La Russa tell you that you'd made the club?

AP: I found out first from my family. They were blowing my phone up with congratulations. I remember my first base hit in Colorado, against Mike Hampton. I went 1 for 9 in that series and was like, Here we go. Then I got [eight] RBIs in the next series. I remember because I like to watch my highlights, just look at my swings.

TV: Thirteen years later home runs numbers 499 and 500, in the same game. I heard you actually called it, hitting two?

AP: It was one of those feelings; I was swinging the bat well. I told my wife, "You better get to Washington." When I look at that highlight, I just look at my teammates walking from the dugout.

TV: How high can you go?

AP: I've got seven years left in my contract. Maybe when I'm done it's 700 ... 750.

For more of Pujols's interview, plus the SI Now archive, go to SI.com/videos

"It was one of those feelings. I told my wife, 'You better get to Washington.'"

—Albert Pujols

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PHOTOSTEPHEN DUNN/GETTY IMAGES (PUJOLS) PHOTOGENE J. PUSKAR/AP (DUQUETTE) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (SMITH) PHOTOTIM SHARP/AP (ANDRETTIS) PHOTOPAUL SAKUMA/AP (BROWN) PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)