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Mets' Pete Alonso win Home Run Derby, successfully defends title in instant classic

Patrick Lyons Avatar
July 13, 2021

Bang. Zoom. Straight to the moon!

With 309 baseballs planted in various sections and tiers of Coors Field, slugged over a combined 25 miles in distance, New York Mets’ Pete Alonso came out on top in the single-elimination tournament.

In doing so, he becomes only the third player to win consecutive Derbys, joining Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Céspedes (2013-14) and fourth to win multiple Derbies; Prince Fielder also won twice (2009 and 2012) while Griffey Jr. won three (also 1994).

The first round matchups had the capacity crowd at 2001 Blake Street on their feet for the entirety of all eight contestants. Between batters and including timeouts.

Hometown hero Trevor Story performed well enough in his initial battle against Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo, winning 20-19 after a slow start had Rockies fans worried. In the process, the shortstop broke Larry Walker’s franchise record (19 in 1997) for most homers in the Derby.

“I felt like I got through the first round pretty nicely,” Story said post-Derby. “And then towards the end I called my timeout and then came back and felt pretty good. I’m pretty tired. There’s no getting around that.”

Jul 12, 2021; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story reacts during the 2021 MLB Home Run Derby. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Story sent one 518ft to left field before losing the top spot for farthest home run in the Statcast era to Nationals’ Juan Soto and a 520ft blast.

The fortune ended there for Story as he lost in the semifinals 13-12 to Baltimore Orioles’ Trey Mancini. A recent survivor of stage-3 cancer that sidelined him for all of 2020, Mancini defeated Oakland A’s Matt Olsen by a score of 24-23 in the other first-rounder.

Superstar sensation Shohei Ohtani – named starting pitcher and leadoff batter for the American League, a first in the 78-year history of the All-Star Game – struggled a bit more, nearly silencing the ballpark with his lack of home runs before calling a timeout. The crowd at Coors Field began chanting for the Japanese-born player and he rebounded mightily.

Despite matching the 22 dingers by Nationals’ Juan Soto, then equaling the 22-year-old outfielder with another six in overtime, Ohtani could not replicate Soto’s three-for-three performance in the second swing-off in Derby history.

Reigning champion Alonso disposed of Salvador Pérez 35-28 despite the Kansas City Royals catcher having hit the second-most homers in regulation time during the first-round.

The Polar Bear knocked out Soto in the semifinals 16-15 to earn a berth in consecutive Home Run Derby finals where he defeated Mancini 23-22.

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