The Major League Baseball Home Run Derby is the annual mid-Summer celebration of maybe the coolest thing in all of sports, the home run. There is nothing quite like somebody hitting one out of a big league ball park. And sometimes, a bunch of All-Stars all hit a bunch of homers and it results in an awesome derby. Here are five of the best.
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Enough time has passed that we can ironically enjoy the '90 contest. Especially considering all video footage has probably been destroyed. This contest featured nothing but bonafide stars at Wrigley Field. Ryne Sanberg won with three homers. Mark McGwire and Matt Williams each hit one apiece and Ken Griffey Jr., Jose Canseco, Cecil Fielder, Bobby Bonilla and Darryl Strawberry were all shut out by the wicked Chicago wind. That's five home runs hit by a group that hit 3,276 combined in their careers.
Mark McGwire, a year after hitting 70, hit a record 13 home runs in the first round, including a couple that nearly made it to the Massachusetts Turnpike. Yes, Sammy Sosa was there, but he only hit one home run.
And sure, McGwire was eliminated in the second round by Jeromy Burnitz, but the People's Champion was waiting in the finals as Ken Griffey Jr. ended up winning his third Derby. So fans got the champion they deserved and still got to see what they wanted - McGwire take on the Green Monster.
The Josh Hamilton contest. Hamilton blasted an insane 28 home runs in the first round at Yankee Stadium. Who knows how many he could have hit if he hadn't ended a second round that did not matter after just four outs. Justin Morneau take Hamilton out in the finals (5-3), but Hamilton's show carried the night as it was the most watched Derby ever as 9.1 million people tuned in. As we all know, good ratings mean good television.
Pete Alonso had an easy run to his first title as he took out Carlos Santana (14-13) and Ronald Acuna Jr. (20-19) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (23-22). Another way to look at it is that Guerrero was robbed. Vladdy Jr. hit a record 91 home runs that night, including a record 40 in the second round thanks to a swing-off with Joc Pederson.
2021 Home Run Derby
Swinging for the fences at Coors Field, five of the eight matchups were decided by one home run, including both semifinals and the finals, where Peta Alonso beat Trey Mancini, 23-22. One of the three matchups that wasn't decided by a single swing was Juan Soto taking down Shohei Ohtani in the first round after they both hit 28 homers, which tied for the second most anyone hit in any single round.