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Albert Pujols became the foreign-born leader in MLB homers

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Wednesday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at the latest Pujolsian milestone, the best nicknames in baseball history, and ... whatever it is the Mariners thought they were doing on defense.

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Albert Pujols hit career homer 610 on Tuesday, giving him sole possession of eighth place on MLB's all-time home run leaderboard. That dinger counted for more than just that, however, as Pujols passed Sammy Sosa in the process, taking from him the title of MLB's foreign-born home run leader.

Pujols, like Sosa, was born in the Dominican Republic and would later come to play baseball stateside. Now, he has more dingers than any other foreign-born player in history, and is likely to hold that distinction for some time, given the current makeup of that list:

  1. Albert Pujols, 610 (Dominican Republic)
  2. Sammy Sosa, 609 (Dominican Republic)
  3. Rafael Palmeiro, 569 (Cuba)
  4. Manny Ramirez, 555 (Dominican Republic)
  5. David Ortiz, 541 (Dominican Republic)
  6. Carlos Delgado, 473 (Puerto Rico)
  7. Jose Canseco, 462 (Cuba)
  8. Adrian Beltre, 459 (Dominican Republic)
  9. Miguel Cabrera, 459 (Venezuela)
  10. Vladimir Guerrero, 449 (Dominican Republic)

Only Cabrera and Beltre are active, and Beltre is older than Pujols. He's also better at this point, but he's not going to close the gap between them, never mind surpass it — especially since Pujols is going to keep playing, even if he's not the slugger he used to be. Cabrera has the best shot of taking over for Pujols at this point, given he's 34 and is a year removed from being one of the best hitters in the game. That all depends on how much his disappointing, below-average 2017 represents Cabrera going forward, though.

Pujols probably isn't finished with home run achievements in 2017. He's two dingers from tying Jim Thome for seventh all-time, and even this depressingly-deflated version of Pujols has managed 19 homers this season: it's about the only thing he's doing well.

If you think that's a sad note to end on, here's your reminder that there are four years left on Pujols' contract, paying between $27 million and $30 million each. On the bright side ... that's four more years he can try to limp up the home run leaderboards!

Time, like baseball, is cruel as hell.