Vladimir Guerrero Jr. mashes his way to Home Run Derby title
Jul 11, 2023, 8:39 AM
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
For the first time in the Home Run Derby’s history, a father and son are home run champions.
Toronto Blue Jays star first baseman Vladmir Guerrero Jr. outlasted Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena during Monday’s 2023 Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, finishing with 25 long balls to Arozarena’s 23 in a nail-biting finish.
Guerrero, who secured his first Home Run Derby crown, joins his father, Vladimir Guerrero Sr., as the long father-son combo to win a Derby.
Finishing the night with 72 total home runs, Guerrero totaled 5.5 miles of homers (29,390 feet) while defeating Los Angeles Dodger star Mookie Betts, Seattle Mariners outfielder Julio Rodríguez, and Arozarena in the finals.
Although Guerrero appeared to struggle with bouts of fatigue during the fast-paced derby, the 24-year-old was able to dig deep during the final round and slug his way to victory.
“Obviously, the power that he has was incredible,” Arozarena said through a translator following the derby. “For me, I felt good going into that round. But also he was able to get a minute of bonus time. I only had the 30 seconds of bonus time.”
Guerrero was able to add an extra 30 seconds to his final round after drilling two home runs 440 feet or further, padding his lead over Arozarena in an advantage that ended up paying off. Arozarena failed to exceed the 440-foot mark, meaning he had very little time to catch Guerrero’s 25-home-run total.
In the end, Guerrero prevailed, joining his father–Hall of Fame outfielder Vladimir Guerrero Sr.–as the only father-son duo to ever win the Home Run Derby.
Guerrero Jr. was present for his father’s 2007 Home Run Derby win in San Francisco, California at Oracle Park, something that the now three-time All-Star says he has a hard time remembering.
The elder Guerrero put on a show in the Bay, nearly drilling a ball into the big glove that is located nearly 500 feet away from home plate near the giant Coca Cola bottle in left-center field.
“I don’t remember much about 2007,” Vladimir Jr. said. “I guess I was too young.”
While he might not remember 2007, Guerrero Jr. will surely remember the 2023 Home Run Derby in Seattle–the night he added to his growing baseball resume.
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