All-Star Game: 10 reasons why Cleveland’s HR Derby was best ever

MLB All-Star game. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
MLB All-Star game. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Cleveland’s edition of the Home Run Derby on the eve of the MLB All-Star game made for the greatest edition of the event in history.

The MLB Home Run Derby left an imprint on Cleveland’s baseball scene that will never be forgotten, thanks to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Joc Pederson, duking it out in semifinals.

1. Vladdy needed 40 homers and three tie breakers to advance into the Final. All things considered, this was the Final. Pederson and Guerrero gave baseball a show that will be talked about every summer where a home run derby is contested.

The two sluggers needed bonus time, a 60-second extra tripe and two swing-offs to determine a champion.

It took 79 homers to decided the most memorably round in Home Run Derby history, with Vladdy Guerrero edging Joc 40-39.

2. You can hit 91 home runs, and still lose. That was Vladdy’s overall total. The champion, Pete Alonso, hit 57. Credit this ridiculous fact to baseball’s tournament-style derby. No, it’s not  fair, but it makes for a great show. Hit more home runs than the other guy or go home.

Baseball first introduced the tournament back in 2015, when hometown Todd Frazier won the derby, which was played in Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

3. Guerrero hit more home runs on the night than four MLB teams have in the entire season. The Giants (88), Royals (87), Tigers (77), and Marlins (68), are all looking up at Vladdy’s Derby day performance.

4. Pete Alonso doubled his salary. As a rookie, he’s making $550,000. By winning the derby, he took home a cool $1,00,000. Keep offering that kind of prize money and the top rookies will continue to compete.

5. Alonso is the third rookie to win the event, joining Wally Joyner (1986) and Aaron Judge (2017).

6. This is why you play the game. Fans showed up to see home runs, and they saw plenty of them. Contestants slugged 312 home runs during the home run derby, bashing the record of 221, which was set just last season.

The 2019 edition of the Derby passed the 221 home-run marker midway through the second round.

7. Guerrero didn’t get gassed. In the final round, he hit 22 bombs, breaking Giancarlo Stanton‘s final-round record of 20. That should’ve been good enough to win. Alonso just did him one better, though.

8. According to, contestants hit 24.7 miles of home runs, with Guerrero alone contributing 7.3 miles of bombs

Vladdy racked up 3.2 miles worth of moonshots against Pederson in the semifinal.

9. Alonso never let the pressure get him. He never hit lead off, and had to catch the person in front of him three times. He came from behind to defeat Carlos Santana, Ronald Acuna Jr. and then Guerrero in the final.

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10. Alonso hit a buzzer beater to knock off Guerrero. The clock winding down, with everything on the line, and the player delivers–in sports, you can’t ask for anything  more.