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Home Run Derby 2019: Vlad Jr. steals show, brings back memories for Cleveland fans

Home Run Derby 2019: Vlad Jr. steals show, brings back memories for Cleveland fans 1

CLEVELAND – The tickets had been an early birthday present from David Cox to his youthful brother, Tim, who turns 24 on Wednesday. Two seats in Row Y within the left-field stands for the Dwelling Run Derby, seats that David figured can be prime ball-hunting spots.

However David’s season tickets aren’t within the left-field stands, so he did not know that Row Y was really the final row in left area. That realization sank in as they headed to their seats.

“We’re walking up the steps and I’m thinking, ‘Man, nothing’s getting up here,’ ” David instructed Sporting Information. “… But then Vlad started by hitting the scoreboard.”

BENDER: This was a Dwelling Run Derby for the ages

The primary swing from Vladimir Guerrero Jr., was one few folks in Cleveland will ever neglect. Each pre-Derby criticism of Guerrero’s inclusion – “But … but … but he only has eight home runs this year!” was the cry – stopped when the Blue Jays rookie smoked that first residence run 462 toes, off the scoreboard.

The sound of the baseball smacking off that Progressive Discipline scoreboard instantly introduced again reminiscences of one other blast for just about each Cleveland baseball fan, a ball Mark McGwire hit off the Budweiser signal, a 485-foot blast off Orel Hershiser on April 30, 1997.

Rick Bartos was at that McGwire sport, and he was sitting subsequent to the Cox brothers for the Derby, watching along with his buddy Mike Erney. The sense of deja vu was robust, to say the least.

“I didn’t know how far McGwire’s was until it went off the Budweiser sign,” Bartos mentioned. “I was telling these guys I was there for that game, but when Vlad hit that one, I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ “

From left: Mike Erney, Rick Bartos, David Cox, Tim Cox

Vlad’s ball was headed proper at them, offering a number of terrifying moments.

“We lost it. We saw it going up and up and then we lost it,” David mentioned. “Didn’t know if it was coming at us, if it was hooking in or what.”

Tim jumped in. “And then all of a sudden you hear the smack up top above us. Everyone goes nuts: ‘Oh, my God!’ “

The ball bounced again a number of rows, off somebody’s arm and right into a scrum of shocked – however excited – treasure seekers. That first mammoth homer was just the start of an unforgettable evening for the Blue Jays rookie third baseman.

“That was amazing,” veteran Yankees lefty CC Sabathia mentioned with a smile after the competition. “That was just for all the haters who said he shouldn’t have been there.”

MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a brand new MLB dwell whiparound present on DAZN

Guerrero’s longest blast of the evening was 488 toes, three toes longer than McGwire’s blast. He hit 29 homers within the first spherical and one other 29 within the second spherical. Properly, 29 within the first a part of the second spherical.

Joc Pederson tied him with 29 of his personal. They each hit eight extra within the 60-second tiebreaker. Then they each hit one homer on three swings within the subsequent tiebreaker spherical.

After which, lastly, Guerrero prevailed with two homers on three swings to Pederson’s one. He completed with 40, yet another than Pederson, after which he hit one other 22 within the closing spherical, however Mets rookie Pete Alonso edged him out.

Guerrero did what teammate Marcus Stroman hinted at earlier within the day, through the media interview session.

He completed with a complete of 91 on the evening.

“I heard a lot of stuff before, people were talking trash that he shouldn’t be in it,” mentioned Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who was knocked out within the first spherical by Pederson. “He proved a lot of people wrong tonight, and he showed the world that he’s coming.”

Or, that he is already right here.

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