699 and 700

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This is a Fanpost written by community member Nate De Graaf (perhaps you have noticed him in the comments) that I thought you all would enjoy so I promoted it to the front page. If anyone else has a story about how they saw Albert Pujols hit home runs 699 and 700 feel free to write a Fanpost about it too! - Scooter

It's funny how things work out.

66 years ago yesterday, a man named Ozzie Virgil Sr became the first Dominican born ballplayer to play in a professional major league baseball game. Yesterday, a man named Albert Pujols became the first Dominican born ballplayer to hit 700 homeruns. I wish there was a more illustrious or grand way to say it but quite simply, well, that's just neat.

Approximately 66 days ago, I met a fella named Jansen at my local pub. A Red Sox fan, recently transferred to North Florida, Jansen is one of those die hard, watch-all-162-games-even-if-your-team-is-eliminated kind of baseball fans. After an uncomfortable initial discussion in which I described Fenway Park as "a terrible and stupid ballpark that should be torn down yesterday" we eventually became friendly.

Yesterday, on the anniversary of Ozzie Virgil's first start at around 9 PM Eastern Standard Time, I went out for a beer at my local pub. Jansen was there watching the Red Sox with his girlfriend Linsey. We talked. Mainly about baseball. We're friendly after all.

About ten minutes before first pitch, I discovered that I was going to have to purchase Apple TV and watch the game on my phone instead of on the bar's television. Due to the fact that I have an Android, there was no way for me to cast the game onto the bar's television as Jansen had done with the Red Sox/Yankees game that preceded the Cardinal game. Despite the fact that it was close to quitting time for Linsey and Jansen, they volunteered to Air Play the game and stick around to watch "as much as they could."

"I mean, I want to see him hit seven hundred as much as any fan," Jansen said.

"Me too," said Linsey.

And so we watched.

If you didn't see it live, by now you've seen the replays. It was awesome. Albert Pujols hit his 699th and 700th homeruns with future Dominican born Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre watching from the front row. The hugs. Oh my God the hugs. And the high fives! Why, they out numbered the hugs exponentially. I wish there was a more apt word for it but come on, that was neat.

And it was neat in the bar too. Jansen and I high fived. And we hugged. I've known this dude for la little over two months and I shared one of the greatest single games of my baseball watching life with him like we're old friends who used to skip high school class to watch day games at Busch the 2nd. Without that fellow baseball fan and his understanding girlfriend, watching that game would have been annoying and inconvenient. But it wasn't. Thanks to them it was neat.

Like I mentioned, it's funny how things work out. Sometimes it's damn near perfect.