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Pujols could become the 4th player to hit 700 home runs. Here are the other 3

The history behind the three players with 700 home runs and one player who is slowly chipping away at joining the exclusive club.
Credit: AP
St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols celebrates after hitting a three-run home run during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols is on a mission during his last season in Major League Baseball to reach the 700 home run club. 

Pujols could join only three other players in baseball history to reach this milestone but who are the other three? 

Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth rank as the top three respectively for the most home runs all-time in MLB history. 

Here is the history behind those in the 700 home run club: 

Babe Ruth 

George Herman Ruth Jr. was born on Feb. 6, 1895.

At 7 years old, Ruth's love of baseball grew while at St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, where his parents sent him to help "shape his future."

One of the laymen at the school helped Ruth develop his game and passion for baseball, eventually inviting the owner of the Baltimore Orioles to watch him. 

He earned the nickname "Jack's newest babe" when owner, Jack Dunn, came to watch him and eventually was known as Babe. 

Babe Ruth made his Major League Baseball debut on July 11, 1914, with the Boston Red Sox. After winning three World Series with the team, he was part of one of the most famous transactions in baseball history. In 1919, Red Sox owner, Harry Frazee, sent Ruth to the rival New York Yankees for $100,000. 

Credit: AP
Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees clouts a towering home run in this undated photo. (AP Photo)

Two years after the transaction, Ruth hit a combined 113 home runs for the Yankees. He led them to four World Series titles during his time in New York. 

He would also set a record for most home runs in a season in 1927 with 60. This record would stand for 34 years.

Ruth retired in 1935 and ended his career with 714 home runs. He was one of the first five electees to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

He passed away after a battle with cancer on Aug. 16, 1948. 

Hank Aaron 

Henry "Hank" Louis Aaron was born on Feb. 5, 1934. 

Hank Aaron grew up in Mobile, Alabama where he developed his love and passion for the game. 

He worked his way through different leagues before signing and settling in with the Milwaukee Braves. 

The Milwaukee Braves were once the Boston Braves before relocating in 1953 to their new market.

Aaron made his MLB debut on April 14, 1954, with the Milwaukee Braves. In his first year, he had 13 home runs with the team.

He stayed consistent during his next few years, reaching 44 home runs in the 1957 season. He even won the National League MVP award and led the Braves to a World Series title. 

The MVP followed up with 30 to 40 home runs on an annual basis, chipping away at Babe Ruth's record. 

The Milwaukee Braves relocated a second time to Atlanta, becoming the Atlanta Braves. Aaron stuck with the team, continuing his outstanding career. 

Aaron finished the 1973 season with 40 home runs and a career total of 713. Just one short of tying Babe Ruth's record. 

He tied the record on Opening Day on April 4, 1974. 

Just four days later, he recorded his 715 home run at Atlanta Fulton count Stadium against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ruth's record was broken after 39 years and Aaron did not stop there. 

Credit: AP
Atlanta Braves' Hank Aaron (44) breaks Babe Ruth's record for career home runs as he hits his 715th off Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Al Downing in the fourth inning of the game opener at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Ga., Monday night, April 8, 1974. (AP Photo)

Concluding the 1974 season with 20 home runs, he joined the Milwaukee Brewers for his last two seasons. He concluded his career in 1976 with a record 755 home runs.

Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. 

He passed away on Jan. 22, 2021. 

Barry Bonds 

Barry Lamar Bonds was born on July 24, 1965, in Riverside California. 

His father, Bobby Bonds, was a former Major League Baseball player. He played for many teams, including the San Francisco Giants, and ended his career with 332 home runs. 

In high school, Bonds was a three-sport athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and football. 

He was drafted in 1982 by the San Francisco Giants when he was a senior in high school. They could not reach a contract agreement at the time and Bonds decided to attend college. 

He attended Arizona State University, playing baseball and graduating with a degree in criminology in 1986. 

He was drafted a second time in 1985 with the sixth overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Bonds spent his first seven years in the MLB with the Pirates. He recorded 176 home runs during his time there, his last season with the team was in 1992. 

He signed with his original draft team, the San Fransico Giants, in 1993. He spent 15 seasons with the team, setting many MLB records along the way. 

Mark McGwire set a single-season home run record with 70 home runs during the 1998 season. Bonds later broke that record three years later in 2001 with 73 home runs. 

His 755th home run came late in his final season in 2007. He tied Hank Aaron's record on Aug. 4, 2007, against the San Diego Padres. 

The record-breaking home run came on Aug. 7, 2007, in the bottom of the 5th inning against the Washington Nationals. Bonds hit his 756 home run, breaking Aaron's record in San Francisco. 

Credit: AP
San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds celebrates after hitting his 756th career home run against the Washington Nationals during the fifth inning of their baseball game in San Francisco, on Aug. 7, 2007. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and David Ortiz appear to be the only players with a chance at Hall of Fame enshrinement when results are unveiled Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, with Ortiz most likely to get in on his first try. Bonds and Clemens are each in their 10th and final turns under consideration by voters from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)

Bonds ended the 2007 season and his career with 762 home runs, a record still standing today. 

Barry Bonds was listed on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 2013. He remained on the ballot until his last year of eligibility in 2022. He did not receive the 75% needed to make it into the Hall of Fame, ultimately removing his name from the 2023 ballot. 

Albert Pujols 

Albert Pujols was born on Jan. 16, 1980 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

He and his family moved to the United States in 2016, settling down in Independence, Missouri. He earned a scholarship to Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City after graduating. 

While there, he was selected in the 13th round of the 1999 free agent draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Pujols made it to the big leagues in 2001 after one year in the minor leagues. His impact on the game was immediately seen, capturing the National League Rookie of the Year honors... unanimously. 

Continued success game in 2006 when Pujols led the team to their 10th World Series title, hitting 49 home runs that season. 

In 2008 and 2009, Pujols won back-to-back MVP awards, his third overall in his career. He hit 37 and 47 home runs respectfully in those seasons. 

In the 2011 World Series, Albert hit three home runs in one World Series game, becoming only the third player to do it in MLB history. He won his second World Series with the Cardinals that year. 

St. Louis Cardinals' Albert Pujols runs home after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning of Game 3 of baseball's World Series against the Texas Rangers Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Pujols signed a 10-year-contract following the championship in 2011 with the Los Angeles Angels. 

Pujols entered the top 10 in all-time home runs on Aug. 29, 2016, when he tied Frank Robinson with 586 home runs. 

He hit his 600th career home run the following season on June 3, 2017, becoming only the ninth player to do so. To make it more historic, he was the first player to hit a grand slam for his 600th home run. 

He gained sole possession of fifth place all-time in 2020, passing Willie Mays with 661 home runs. 

His time with the Angles ended after being designated for assignment by the team in 2021. He signed a contract shortly after with the city rival, the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

In the offseason of 2022, Albert Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals announced the return of the beloved player to the city with a one-year contract, his final one. He was welcomed back with open arms by his former teammates, including Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina, but also by the fans as the chase for 700 began. 

He hit his first home run of the season, first with the Cardinals in over 10 years, on April 14.

Pujols has 14 home runs so far in the 2022 season, slowly chipping away at fourth place on the all-time list and 700. 

Alex Rodriguez sits in fourth place with 696 home runs, not reaching the 700 home run club before his retirement in 2016. 

Albert Pujols currently sits at 693, only four away from sole possession of fourth place, seven away from joining an exclusive club. 

While the season comes to a close in a little over a month, everyone has their eyes on Albert Pujols and potentially history in St. Louis. 

Keep track of Pujols' home runs on 5 On Your Side's website. 

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