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Albert Pujols becomes third player in MLB history to reach 2,000 RBI

Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols has passed yet another milestone in his storied baseball career. And this one may be his most impressive accomplishment yet.

With a solo homer in the top of the third inning Thursday in Detroit, Pujols became just the third player in baseball history to reach 2,000 career RBI. 

The home run was Pujols' sixth of the season and the 639th of his career.  

Now in his 19th major league season, Pujols trails only Hank Aaron (2,297) and Alex Rodriguez (2,086) on the all-time RBI list. 

His exact placement on that list, however, is open to some interpretation. 

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Runs batted in did not become an official statistic until 1920, so MLB's official stats provider – the Elias Sports Bureau  doesn't count any from before that season in the record book.

However, Baseball-Reference.com, has retroactively compiled stats dating to the 19th century, most notably crediting Babe Ruth with another 224 RBI to push his career total to 2,214 and put the Babe second behind only Aaron.

In that case, Pujols would rank fifth, just behind Hall of Famer Cap Anson, who played from 1987 to 1897.

Albert Pujols gives an emphatic bat flip as he hits a home run Thursday against the Detroit Tigers. The homer also gave Pujols 2,000 career runs batted in. (Photo: Gregory Shamus, Getty Images)

Either way, it'll be a long time before anyone comes close to Pujols' RBI totals. The closest active player to him is Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, who ranks 32nd with 1,647 RBI.

Pujols is also one of 32 players in MLB history with 3,000 career hits and he ranks sixth on the all-time home run list with 639.

Follow Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner

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