KSOO-AM / ESPN Sioux Falls logo
Get our free mobile app

SEATTLE -- Four years after he set a single-round Home Run Derby record only to not win the title, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. bestowed the same fate on someone else -- and added to his family's rich legacy in the process.

The son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero, participating in the Derby at his family's urging, ousted hometown favorite Julio Rodriguez after a record-setting performance and outlasted Randy Arozarena in the finals to win the Derby on Monday night -- 16 years after his father did the same.

After watching his single-round record eclipsed Monday by the Seattle Mariners' Rodriguez -- who sent the T-Mobile Park crowd of 46,952 into a frenzy with 41 homers in the first-round to bounce Alonso -- Guerrero calmly dispatched a worn-down Rodriguez, who mustered only 20 home runs in Round 2.

"I wanted to live in the moment," Rodriguez said. "Kind of be able to give a show to the Mariners fans and just give it my all. For that second round, I was just" -- he exhaled deeply -- "but it was fun. It was fun."

Fun abounded in the 37th edition of the Derby, from Rodriguez's laser show to Guerrero's pointed counterpunching to Baltimore Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman becoming the first batter to swing from both sides of the plate -- and punctuating his 27-homer round with six shots from the right side landing over the fence after hitting 21 from the left. Rutschman soon bowed out to top-seeded Luis Robert Jr., paving the way for the J-Rod show.

With the crowd chanting his name and using a yellow-painted bat that stung balls with the precision of the bumblebee it resembled, Rodriguez hit more than 3 miles of home runs in the first round -- 16,556 feet total.

As Guerrero, a fellow native of the Dominican Republic, added about Rodriguez: "I knew he was going to do that. We talked before, and you could tell that he really wanted to win. I mean, he put a lot of work in this. But, you know, it happened."

What happened, specifically, was Vlad being Vlad. He calmly stepped up. After Rodriguez finished the second round with 20 home runs, Guerrero topped him with 21. Arozarena of the Tampa Bay Rays vanquished the Chicago White Sox's Robert in the semifinals.  


Guerrero awaited Arozarena not with any lessons learned from 2019 but rather a tough-to-swallow reality that left Guerrero exhausted in the wake of his eventual win.

"Everybody was telling me to calm down, to slow down, but you just can't," Guerrero said. "You just can't. You just got to continue to hit homers."

Homer he did, hitting 25 and bringing his total on the night to 72.

LOOK: MLB history from the year you were born

Stacker compiled key moments from Major League Baseball's history over the past 100 years. Using a variety of sources from Major League Baseball (MLB) record books, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and audio and video from events, we've listed the iconic moments that shaped a sport and a nation. Read through to find out what happened in MLB history the year you were born.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

More From KSOO-AM / ESPN Sioux Falls