The 2023 Home Run Derby was held last night, ending with Vladimir Guerrero Jr taking home the trophy. Was this the BEST derby of all-time? We think so, and here is why.
We have seen several incredible moments in the Home Run Derby. In 1993, Ken Griffey Jr hit the warehouse in Baltimore. Mark McGwire planted 13 homers at Fenway Park in 1999. With 28 home runs in a round, including 13 consecutive, Josh Hamilton shook Yankee Stadium in 2008. Speaking of the Yankees, in 2017, Aaron Judge hit four homers over 500 feet! The showcase last night had it ALL. Here is why we believe the 2023 Home Run Derby is THE GOAT.
JULIO RODRIGUEZ: THE NEW RECORD
You're here to see home runs, right? J-Rod gave them to you, and did it in record fashion. In the first round, Rodriguez effortlessly pumped out a new single-round record of 41 home runs. FORTY ONE! With the event held in his home ball park in Seattle, the crowd was behind the young All-Star, making this feat simply feel historic. Did J-Rod win? Nope. Neither did Griffey in '93 when hit the warehouse, McGwire lost at Fenway, and Hamilton didn't win the crown at Yankee Stadium, but you remember the historic bombs.
ADLEY RUTSCHMAN: SWITCH HITTING
Showmanship! When the Boys of Summer hit a home run, you don't want a ho-hum, lackluster dinger that sneaks over the wall. You want a mammoth moonshot and some pizzazz! Adley hit 21 home runs in the first round from the left side of the plate. Been there - done that. During his 30-second bonus time, the kid turned around and hit 6 more the right side! This is the first time we recall seeing a player hit from both sides of the dish in a derby, and it was AWESOME.
ADLEY RUTSCHMAN'S SISTER
While Adley was smashing homers, the camera crew caught his sister, Josie, cheering him on. For pure research purposes only, we scoped out Josie's Instagram. You should check out her page - strictly for research, of course.
RANDY AROZARENA: FINALS RUN
If you want a good derby, you need drama, and Arozarena almost did the impossible. In the finals, Vlad Jr raked 25 home runs, giving Arozarena the number to beat. After a very slow start, Randy could have set his bat on fire he was swinging it so quickly. With 90 seconds left, he popped 15 home runs. Arozarena finished two shy of Vlad with 23 homers, but he brought the drama with just a minute and a half to go!
VLADIMIR GUERRERO JR: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Vladdy Jr was out for vindication in this derby. In 2019, Guerrero hit a total of 91 home runs in the derby, a record that still stands. However, he came up just short to Pete Alonso, losing 23 to 22 in the finals. Last night, Guerrero breezed by Mookie Betts in the first round, but then ran into J-Rod in round 2. The crowd wanted Julio to win, and the kid just popped 41 homers in round 1. Guerrero took on the challenged and belted his way passed J-Rod. After holding off Arozarena in the finals, Vlad Jr joined his Dad in the winner's circle! Vladimir Guerrero Sr won the 2007 Home Run derby. Like father, like son.
The 2023 Home Run Derby had it all - great moments, records, tons of home runs, Adley's sister, a great finish, and a cool father-son story. What do YOU think? Is the 2023 derby the greatest of all-time? If not, where do you rank it?
Home Run Derby was a spectacular EVENT. We have our own Home Run of an Event. A World Series of baseball cards, if you will. As we gear up for The National , we have The Summer of Mantle Event going on NOW at Vintage Breaks. You could win a 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle card graded SGC 4 and other great prizes such as hundreds of dollars in break credit! See how you can win one of the incredible prizes here:
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