This past Sunday marked one of the rarest matchups in baseball history; two players with at least 600 home runs playing in the same game. The series finale between the Twins and the Yankees gave fans a chance to see something that many can’t say they’ve seen. With Alex Rodriguez coming off of the disabled list for that game and Jim Thome being the every day designated hitter for Minnesota, the duo were the first to each have at least 600 home runs since 1971. On April 29th of that year Hank Aaron and Willie Mays both were in the lineup for their respective teams, Aaron hitting his 600th two nights before.
Obviously this is a very rare occurence since only 8 players in Major League history have hit 600 or more home runs. Besides Thome and Rodriguez, there isn’t an active player with 450 home runs. To say the least, we are going to be waiting a while to see if this rare matchup ever happens again.
Another chance at seeing this could happen again in a few years and may even include A-Rod again. Alex Rodriguez’s current contract has him locked up until 2017 which could give a younger player an opportunity to reach this historic mark. All of the active leaders in home runs are very old with one exception, Albert Pujols. The Cardinals slugger has 439 homers to his name and at age 31 is a great candidate. ESPN projects Pujols to end this year with 39, which would give him 447. In order to reach 600 by or during 2017, he would have to hit approximately 26 home runs in each of the next 6 seasons. In his 11 year career Pujols has averaged 39 home runs a season, which should make the 26 per year easy.
So let’s say that in 2017 both Pujols and Rodriguez both have 600 or more home runs. We all know that Rodriguez is almost guaranteed to still be playing in New York but where will Pujols be playing? Prince Albert will become a free agent this off-season and a switch to the American League could give us this perennial matchup. A tricky situation could arise if Pujols decides that he like the National League and signs a long-term deal there. That would mean that the only way the two could meet in a game would be during Interleague play or the World Series. The last time the Yankees and Cardinals faced off during the season was in 2005; the last World Series matchup was in 1964.
Will Albert Pujols hit 600 career home runs? Will Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez ever face off in a Major League game? Will any two 600 home run hitters ever play against each other again?