Major League Baseball’s All-Star break began on Monday, meaning that we are getting treated to one of the most delightful events in the game: The Home Run Derby. It’s such a simple concept, but there aren’t many special events in sports that are more fun than watching dudes hit copious amounts of dingers.
The first round featured a fantastic matchup in the 1 vs. 8 spot. Marlins outfielder and hometown hero Giancarlo Stanton went against Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Even before the two started hitting baseballs to the moon, there was some hype, because Sanchez — whose nickname is “The Kraken” — used bats that looked like this.
Add in the fact that this is in Miami and Stanton was the defending champion, and we were in store for something special between the two sluggers.
Despite the high expectations, the pair managed to put on a show. First up was Sanchez, who poured it on to the tune of 17 homers.
Sanchez just launched balls into the crowd, depositing baseballs into left field like it was nothing.
Stanton had the unenviable task of trying to one-up this. He failed, but he came really close, hitting 16 balls out, including six(!!!) that were over 483 feet. Stanton also hit this baseball 496 feet, which was as hilarious as it was impressive.
The ball echoed! It was hit so hard that it just kept making noise after it left Stanton’s bat. It was ludicrous.
The Derby always seems to have one or two contestants that put on a show to remember. Time will tell if we look back on the Sanchez-Stanton battle and remember it as an all-time great Derby battle, but for now, it was a ton of fun.