The night before the 2007 All Star Game, Major League Baseballâ€™s top power hitters competed in the Home Run Derby in San Francisco. By the end of the night, the Los Angeles Angelsâ€™ Vladimir Guerrero was crowned this yearâ€™s champion hitting 17 home runs to beat Torontoâ€™s Alex Rios in the final round. This was Guerreroâ€™s second appearance in the Home Run Derby, his first being in 2000 when he hit a measly two home runs. This year, he brought his A-game.
Guerrero also is credited with having the derbyâ€™s longest shot at 503 feet in left field. It just missed the oversized baseball mitt that sits over the outfield bleachers, which has never been hit in the eight years that the Giants have been playing in AT&T Park. None of the batters managed to hit the ball over the right-field fence and into the water where several kayaks were perched waiting for a home run ball. However, some managed to snag foul balls. The batters also managed to hit all other corners of the park.
It took some time for Guerrero to warm up. After his first three outs, Bostonâ€™s David Ortiz headed to home plate, took away Guerreroâ€™s bat, and had a new bat delivered to him in a large wooden case by a friend. Ortiz took the bat, kissed it, and hit five homers in that round alone. He hit his winning home run with three outs to spare and didnâ€™t even watch it land. This made Rios 12 home runs in the second round only good enough for second place while last yearâ€™s champion Ryan Howard was kicked out of the first round with just three homers.
For related articles visit http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19684803/page/2/ and http://cbs.sportsline.com/mlb/allstar/homerunderby/history.