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DNVR Exclusive: Story to become 12th Rockies' slugger to enter Home Run Derby

Patrick Lyons Avatar
June 29, 2021

Fans of the Colorado Rockies may get only one player from their club selected to participate in the 2021 All-Star Game, but they’ll now have an opportunity at something even greater: Home Run Derby Champion.

On Monday ahead of Opening Day 2.0, Trevor Story announced he would be competing in the derby at his home ballpark, Coors Field.

“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and if there were circumstances that were right. And they’re pretty good right now,” Story said on the top step of the dugout following a round of batting practice.

The 28-year-old shortstop will making his first appearance in the Home Run Derby and first for a Rockies player since Charlie Blackmon slugged 14 in 2017 at Marlins Park.

To date, Story’s competition will be Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani and Baltimore Orioles’ Trey Mancini from the American League and reigning champ Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.

None of those players and none of those from the 29 others clubs have participated in such a competition at 5,280 feet. So, the edge goes to Story?

“I think so. I think that has something to do with it,” he confirmed. “Obviously, playing here for six years more (than others) and acquainted with the thin air, I’ll try to use it to my advantage.”

Story is hoping to become the fourth player to win the derby at his home park and first since Bryce Harper at Nationals Park in 2018. Without any true power alleys at 20th and Blake St – though the entire state of Colorado could be described as a home run hitters haven – Story is simply focusing on staying true to his swing.

“The shortest route is the best way to go in a derby,” he said of his strategy for July 11. “I’m going to try to stay middle with it. I’m going to try to stay left center, middle. If it ends up, if I get one in and my eyes tell me I want to hit it, I’ll pull it down the line. I’m not trying to be too picky with it. Hit the ball in the air and it should go.”

The two-time All-Star will also become just the 12th player in purple to participate in the spectacle during the All-Star festivities, following in the footsteps of several Blake Street Bombers – Dante Bichette (1994), Ellis Burks (1996), Larry Walker (1997, 1999) and Vinny Castilla (1998) – and more recent names like Todd Helton (2001), Matt Holliday (2007), Carlos González (2012, 2016), Michael Cuddyer (2013), Troy Tulowitzki (2014) and Justin Morneau (2014).

Castilla’s notable performance – 12 home runs, most by any National League slugger that year in a format that awarded a winner after just one round – came in Colorado the only other time Coors Field served as host. And Story is well aware of that experience from the Rockies’ Special Assistant to the General Manager.

“I’ve asked guys who’ve done it, like Vinny,” Story shared. “He said, ‘It’s just different. A different format. It’s kind of hard to give advice for that. Still, take your time and don’t overswing.’ That seems to be the overriding tip to prepare for it. Maybe do some training for it and have fun with it.”

Before the revitalization of the Home Run Derby in 2015 to a timed format, the Irving, TX product recalled a local slugger putting on a show.

“The one that stands out is Josh Hamilton at Yankee Stadium. I grew up a Rangers fan and so that’s why I had an allegiance,” before adding, “Sammy Sosa in Milwaukee. Sosa at all of them. Mark McGwire. Ken Griffey Jr. I more so remember the swings like that.”

The cycle of life continues and it’s now Story’s turn to create Home Run Derby memories for the next generation of MLB All-Stars.

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