Some 18,000 men have played major league baseball since 1876, and only 26 of them have hit 500 home runs in their career.

Albert Pujols joined that exclusive club Tuesday night when he crushed career home run No. 500, a two-run shot to left-center field in the top of the fifth inning off Washington pitcher Taylor Jordan in Nationals Park.

Pujols hit his 499th homer in the first inning, a towering three-run shot to left field off Jordan, and No. 500, which gave the Angels a 6-2 lead, cleared the Angels' bullpen in left-center. He is the first player in major league history to hit home runs No. 499 and 500 in the same game, according to STATS LLC.

Pujols clapped his hands twice as he approached the plate after hitting the milestone home run, the Angels came out of the dugout to greet him with hugs and high-fives and he received a brief standing ovation.

[UPDATED 6:08 p.m. PDT, April 22: The home run ball was retrieved by Tom Sherrill of Pomona, an Angels fan and a member of the U.S. Air Force.]

[UPDATED 6:53 p.m. PDT, April 22: The Angels went on to beat the Nationals, 7-2.]

Pujols, 34, is the third-youngest player to reach the milestone, behind Alex Rodriguez and Jimmie Foxx, and he is the 10th player in the last 15 years to hit 500 homers.

With 22 more homers this season, he would pass eight players — Eddie Murray (504), Gary Sheffield (509), Mel Ott (511), Eddie Matthews (512), Ernie Banks (512), Ted Williams (521), Frank Thomas (521) and Willie McCovey (521) — on baseball’s all-time list.

“Albert is certainly aware of what he’s accomplished, but he’s not fixated on it,” Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said before Tuesday's game. “He wants to win baseball games, and I think that’s why he’s had such a great career and why he will continue to be very productive.”

Pujols’ first 455 homers came in 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, a team he won three National League most valuable player awards for and helped win the 2006 and 2011 World Series before signing a 10-year, $240-million deal with the Angels in December 2011.