Sports That Matters
July 9th, 2019
1. Alonso wins Home Run Derby on the eve of the Major League Baseball All-Star game.
The New York Mets rookie headed toward the mound and tightly squeezed his cousin and pitcher Derek Morgan, who had helped him win the All-Star Home Run Derby and $1 million.
With just seconds to spare, Pete Alonso connected for a homer to left-center to edge Toronto Blue Jays‘ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 23-22 after the Blue Jays’ powerhouse put on a historic display by hitting 91 homers before he ran out of gas following an epic semifinal matchup against Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson.
The 20-year-old Blue Jays rookie, trying to follow in the footsteps of his Hall of Fame father, who won the event in San Francisco in 2007.
After his last homer cleared the wall, Alonso was swarmed by the NL All-Stars who along with a crowd of 36,119 fans were treated to a power display unlike any in the event’s history.
Alonso is the second rookie to win outright, following Yankees star Aaron Judge in 2017. He’s also the first Mets player to win the derby since Darryl Strawberry shared the title with Wally Joyner in 1986.
Alonso, making the major league minimum of $555,000 this season, has hit 30 home runs.
He’ll also give 10% of his prize money to charity, 5% each to the Wounded Warrior Project and to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.
home run derby numbers…
312 home runs
312 home runs are the most homers in a Home Run Derby, ever. The previous record, set just last year, was 221 home runs. The 2019 Derby had passed that by midway through Round 2. This year’s Derby had exactly 91 homers more than last year’s.
Guerrero hit a staggering 91 home runs in his first Home Run Derby, smashing through the single-Derby home run record as the youngest participant in the contest’s history.
Vlad Jr.’s 91 home runs are 30 more than the previous record, Giancarlo Stanton’s 61 in San Diego in 2016.
Joc Pederson finished with 60 of his own on Monday, meaning he and Guerrero doubled the number of 60-homer Derbies in history in one night.
Guerrero’s 91 homers are already tied with Todd Frazier (two Derbies) for the second-highest career Home Run Derby total.
Only Pederson, who boosted his career total across two Derbies to 99 after Monday night, has compiled more in the event.
We’ll be talking about Vlad vs. Joc in Round 2 for a long time. It was a slugfest that took regulation time, bonus time, a tiebreaker round, two swing-offs and 79 total home runs to decide.
Guerrero hit 40 home runs in a single round of the Derby and it was just barely enough.
Guerrero Jr. put on a show. In his very first round, he belted a (temporarily) record-setting 29 homers, surpassing Josh Hamilton’s single-round 28 from 2008 at Yankee Stadium.
Alonso walked off in all three rounds — beating hometown favorite Carlos Santana with home run No. 14 in Round 1, Acuna with No. 20 in Round 2 and Vlad Jr. with a buzzer-beating No. 23 in the finals. Alonso earned bonus time in every round of the Derby; he never needed it.
440 feet is a long way to hit a baseball that’s why hitting two 440-footers in a round earns players 30 seconds of bonus time. Well, in the 2019 Derby, there were 74 of them total.
Those are the Home Run Derby superlatives the longest home run, hardest home run, highest home run and lowest home run.
Longest HR: 488 feet — Vlad Jr. (Round 2)
Hardest HR: 114 mph — Vlad Jr. (Round 2)
Highest HR launch angle: 42° — Pederson (Round 1)
Lowest HR launch angle: 17° — Vlad Jr. (twice, Round 2/finals)
who wasn’t there…
Only three players in baseball have 30 home runs this season, and two of them aren’t participating in the derby.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Cody Bellinger took part in the event as a rookie in 2017, and said though he is skipping the derby this season he would consider hitting bombs when the All-Star Game is at Dodger Stadium in 2020.
The other absent power leader is Christian Yelich, though he was originally in the field and rightfully one of the favorites. But sadly a back injury means the Milwaukee Brewers star outfielder and reigning National League MVP will stick to Tuesday’s All-Star Game only and take Monday off. It’s a shame since his 31 home runs lead MLB, as do his 56 home runs since last year’s All-Star break.
the home run derby winner got $1 million…
A figure topped in 2019 salary by only two hitters in this field (hat tip to Cot’s Contracts):
- Santana: $17 million
- Pederson: $5 million
- Acuña: $1 million
- Bregman: $640,000
- Bell: $587,000
- Chapman: $580,000
- Guerrero: $555,000
- Alonso: $555,000
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