With five home runs in the final round, Justin Morneau won the Home Run Derby last night, but no one can dispute that Josh Hamilton – who notched 28 home runs in the first round and four in the second without even using all his outs – was a winner as well. When we look at them, we’re all winners…
Josh Hamilton, a recovering heroin addict who found religion and thanked Jesus for his success, chose 71-year-old Clay Counsil to pitch to him. Given that he threw well over 70 pitches, Counsil deserves an honorable mention as well. Counsil is a “sandlot legend” from the area of Raleigh, N.C., Hamilton’s neck of the woods. He used to pitch hours of batting practice to Hamilton.
While Hamilton actually hit 35 to Morneau’s 22, in the end the final round was all that counts, and Morneau’s five bested Hamilton’s three. However, Hamilton logged three of the top eight all-time longest home runs in the derby at 518′, 504′, and 502′. He needed nine in the final round to best Bobby Abreau’s all-time total of 41. He fell six short. Of Hamilton’s win, Morneau said, “I was lucky that we got reset. … This was his show. He deserved to win it. That was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.”
Morneau, who almost didn’t accept the offer to play, wore #33 for his hero, Canadian NHL legendary goalie Patrick Roy. Now Canada has a home-town, homerun hero! He scored eight and nine homeruns in the first and second rounds, but it was the final five that sealed the deal for him in the end. Thanks, Joe Mauer, for encouraging him to bite at the invite!
Congratulations to Lady Andrea for her pick yesterday, and for graciously including me in it. WE WIN!