Prince Fielder caused an effect at the All-Star Home Run Derby, eight of them.
The Detroit slugger joined Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players to win multiple titles, exciting the crowd at Kauffman Stadium with several shots into the right-field fountain and beating Toronto’s Jose Bautista 12-7 in the final Monday night. Basketball lines
On a night when the N.Y Yankees’ Robinson Cano was repeatedly booed and went homerless, Fielder put on the strongest display among baseball’s big boppers. Winner at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium 3 years back, Fielder had a sum total of 28 home runs over three rounds to cap the main event on the brink of the All-Star Game. He hit the 4 longest drives of the night, including a pair at 476 feet.
“They were far,” he claimed. “That’s not easy to hit it out there.”
While the ball stayed out of McCovey Cove during the 2007 Derby at San Francisco’s ATT Park and the right-field swimming pool last year at Chase Field in Phoenix, there was a lot of aquatic activity in Kansas City, 2nd only to Rome for most fountains in cities around the globe.
After 3 splash shots among his 5 homers in the 1st round, Fielder started the 2nd round as the sinking sun lit up clouds in a pretty pink behind the left-field wall. His mop of dreadlocks visible as he hit without a helmet, Fielder deposited 4 more balls into the 322-foot-wide water spectacular, which by then was illuminated in the twilight.
He added another water drive in the last round, and then leaned against one of his boys while he watched Bautista swing.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Bautista expounded. “I’m capable of doing more. I had a lot of fun doing it.”
When he won 3 years ago in St. Louis, Fielder’s 23 homers included a 503-foot drive that disappeared between 2 sections of bleachers in right-center. Griffey won titles in 1994 at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, 1998 at Denver’s Coors Field and 1999 at Boston’s Fenway Park.
Cano set a final-round record of 12 en route to last year’s title in Phoenix, where he hit 32 overall. This year he was the object of loud booing all though by fans upset he didn’t choose the Royals’ Billy Butler after promising to take a hometown player for his derby team.
“I was criticized before I got here. If you play for the New York Yankees you get booed everywhere you go,” Cano related.
It was the 17th time a player went homerless in the Derby, the 1st since Detroit’s Brandon Inge in 2009.
Carlos Gonzalez and Andrew McCutchen (4 each) and Matt Kemp (one) also were dropped after the 1st round.
Carlos Beltran (12) was dropped after the second round, when Mark Trumbo and Bautista were tied with 13 apiece, leading to a swingoff won by Bautista 2-1.
Trumbo and Bautista each managed to put a drive into the small fountain beyond the left-field wall. Trumbo also hit 2 shots over the Royals Hall-Of-Fame in left, towards Interstate 70.