Sportswriters were wetting themselves with joy last night as St. Louis Cardinals superstar Albert Pujols, arguably the greatest hitter of the last decade, had a historic night in Game 3 of the World Series. Pujols hit three home runs—and went 5-for-6 with six RBIs—against the Texas Rangers as the Cardinals went on to crush the Rangers 16-7 to take a 2-1 lead in the series (watch highlights here). The only other players to hit three home runs in one World Series game? Yankees legends Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson.
- The NY Times wrote: "In a performance destined to be etched in bronze on a plaque in Cooperstown, Pujols produced one of the greatest nights a hitter has ever had in the World Series."
- ESPN took it a bit further: "Where does it rank? Where does it stand? All we need to do is recite the list of men who have hit three home runs in a World Series game -- Reginald M. Jackson and George Herman Bambino Ruth, period -- and you instantly know exactly where it stands. It stands with the legends. And now, so does the man responsible for it."
- St. Louis Today stood in awe of the accomplishment: "This starry night — Oct. 22, 2011 — belonged to Albert Pujols. And we will always remember where we were, when we saw The Great Pujols rearrange baseball history by giving the most transcendent performance by a hitter in World Series history."
- And Sports Illustrated really hammers it home, staking out what Quickish calls "new superlative territory:" "The score of Game 3 will be lost to history.... What remains forever is what happened when the best player of his generation found the very best of himself on the biggest of all stages. It was, quite simply, the greatest night by one player in the history of the 620 World Series games ever played."
Of course, with reactions like that, it seems as though the outcome of the World Series doesn't even matter. At least one ESPN writer already skipped straight to winter in his fantasy world, and asked whether the Yankees have a chance to land Pujols. Although GM Brian Cashman has been doubtful that any deal could be made, ESPN is sure they're considering how much money they could throw at him: "This team has splurged on extravagances before, and to believe the Yankees won't even consider kicking the tires on Pujols is to believe that A-Rod can walk past a Bentley showroom without at least looking in the window." If Pujols did become a Yankee, then he wouldn't have to worry about getting the prime time shaft anymore.