This Day in St. Louis Sports History: April 2


April 2, 2001: Albert Pujols makes his major-league debut in Cardinals loss to Colorado Rockies

It’s safe to say that the events which occurred on April 2 of 2001 were rather significant in St. Louis sports history. A 21-year-old hitter by the name of Albert Pujols, who had torn apart spring training and locked himself into a roster spot by way of an injury to veteran Bobby Bonilla, made his major-league debut, starting in left field as the Cardinals fell 8-0 to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Pujols went 1-for-3, collecting a single for his first major-league hit. Of course, the rest is history, as he would go on to make the All-Star team and win the NL Rookie of the Year in 2001, hitting .329/.403/.610 with 37 homers and 130 RBI in 590 at-bats over 161 games split between first base, third base, left field, and right field. Over his 10 subsequent years in St. Louis, he went on to be arguably the greatest Cardinal since Stan Musial, hitting an incredible .328/.420/.617 with 445 homers and 1,329 RBI over 6,312 at-bats. With the way Pujols performed as a Cardinal, he’ll likely be the next player from the organization to enter the Hall of Fame.

Though it’s often been said that Pujols would have ended up back in the minors had Bonilla not opened the year on the DL with a pulled hamstring, manager Tony La Russa and general manager Walt Jocketty have claimed in recent years that Pujols would have made the Cards’ Opening Day roster, anyway.

Next: Predicting the Memphis Redbirds' Opening Day Roster