The game’s most powerful hitter put on a show for the record books Monday night.
At the MLB Home Run Derby in San Diego, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins hit a record 61 home runs en route to claiming his first career Home Run Derby title. And by the looks of it, it certainly won’t be his last.
Under the new timed format — where players were given a timer to hit as many dingers as possible as opposed to the usual 10-outs-and-done method — Stanton stood tall on Monday night, hitting 5.1 total miles worth of home runs and defeating reigning champ Todd Frazier in the process.
Oakland A’s catcher Stephen Vogt summed it up perfectly:
“I don’t think anybody understands what he just did,That’s superhuman. He was hitting every single ball well over 400 feet. I was actually scared for the kids in the field on some of the low line drives he was hitting. It’s not normal to be able to create that much bat speed and hit the ball that far. It was very impressive and incredible. The first three rows in the stands were not safe.”
The achievement is all the more remarkable considering Petco Park in San Diego is where — as ESPN puts it — “home run balls… go to die.” Marlins coach Pat Shine put it bluntly: “That’s almost inhuman.”
Monday night’s performance certainly joins Josh Hamilton‘s legendary 2008 performance as one of the best of all time in the event’s history; though Hamilton technically didn’t win during the Derby at the old Yankee Stadium, his 28 homers in a single round has never — and likely will never — be bested.
As for Stanton, he came into the All-Star break with 20 home runs on the season through 76 games, but didn’t qualify for the actual All-Star game. He flew to San Diego simply for the Derby, saying after the fact, “So I figured it’s a waste of time if I don’t bring this bad boy home,” referencing the trophy.
The powerhouse Stanton recounted watching the Derby as a kid and seeing the likes of Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Ken Griffey Jr. make the event a must-watch spectacle. “I grew up watching this. That’s where you built it up, childhood memories of. Now I will have kids saying the same thing. They watched me do this. I like to return the favor.” The longest hit ball of the night was Stanton’s 497 feet, a mark he hit twice.
Watch Stanton defeat Frazier in the final round in the above clips and the other MLB players give him the only celebration the champ deserves.
J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
[image via screengrab]
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