(Denver) Pete Alonso sang and danced until he won the home run competition for a second straight year Monday night at Coors Field in Denver.
The New York Mets first baseman hit a total of 74 home runs, beating Trey Mancini 23-22 in the final. He joined Ken Griffey Jr. (1998-99) and Yoenis Céspedes (2013-14) as the only champions back to back in this event.
Trey Mancini has returned to the game this season after undergoing treatment to cure colon cancer. He missed the entire last campaign.
Starting second, Alonso trailed 22-17 after the first two minutes of the final. He then made six homers on six shots in an interval of 28 seconds to reach a total of 23 long balls.
“I'm the best power hitter on the planet,” said Alonso. To be able to show it off and be able to put on a fun show for the fans, it's a dream come true. "
Mancini, who was returning to the game this season after undergoing treatment to cure colon cancer, was the sentimental crowd favorite. Alonso was the liveliest of the eight powerful hitters, however, as this contest made a comeback after a year of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hitting the ball with Mets colored sticks, Alonso nodded to the beat of the music. During downtime, he would ask the crowd to make noise for him.
The 26-year-old Mets player will now have the opportunity to match Griffey, who also won in 1994, as the only triple champions at that event.
“My parents would let me go to bed later to watch this contest,” Alonso said. It was one of the few nights of the year when I could go to bed later. To be able to watch incredible feats that you don't see in a regular baseball game. It's very special for me to have been able to win this competition twice in a row. "
Alonso hit 35 home runs in the first round, beating Josh Hamilton's record by seven long balls in 2008. Alonso first knocked out Kansas City Royals wide receiver Salvador Pérez.
In the second round, Alonso didn't need all of his seconds to beat young Washington Nationals star Juan Soto 16-15.
Mancini missed the entire cropped 2020 season as he underwent chemotherapy. Her treatments ended on September 21. The 29-year-old Orioles first baseman is batting .256 with 16 home runs and 55 RBIs in the All-Star break.
“It was amazing, especially after the last year and a half,” said Mancini.
Soto pleased the 49,048 spectators at Coors Field when he slammed a long ball from a distance of 520 feet from home plate. This was the longest circuit in this contest since the era of the Statcast calculator. Prior to Statcast, Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa hit a homerun 524 feet from the plate in Milwaukee in 2002.
Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani started his round slowly, but forced two overtime, but Soto triumphed 31-28 to advance to the second round.
Ohtani of the Los Angeles Los Angeles will be the American's starting pitcher for tomorrow's game and he will also act as designated hitter.
“It was fun, but breathless,” Ohtani said. The last 30 seconds of the first round and the tiebreaker were really grueling. "
Mancini defeated Oakland Athletics player Matt Olson 24-23 in the first round. Olson's last swing had enough power, but the ball curved out of bounds.
“He's a good guy,” said Olson. To see that he's fought, that he's come back to the game and that he knows the season he has right now, that says a lot about him, his character and his resilience. "
Home favorite Trevor Story just beat Texas Rangers powerful slugger Joey Gallo by a score of 20-19. On his last attempt, Gallo cracked a candle.
"It's exhausting, but it was very pleasant for a first participation," said Gallo.
Mancini got the better of Story 13-12 in the second round as he started in the second. He made it to the final after a slap in the center field.