Pete Alonso was seemingly cooked in the home run derby, with Orioles slugger Trey Mancini tallying 22 home runs in his final round of swings that needed to be bested by the Mets’ power hitter. Instead of a loss, Alonso cranked out just enough home runs (including six in extra time) to become the third back-to-back Home Run Derby champion, joining Ken Griffey Jr. and Yoenis Cespedes.

In total, Alonso scorched 74 home runs, winning a bejeweled necklace and a cash prize of $1 million. “Being able to showcase that, and really putting on a fun display for fans, I just think it’s a dream come true for me because when I was young, my parents let me stay up past my bedtime to watch this. That was one of the few nights per year I actually got to stay up past my bedtime, just watch incredible feats that you don’t see in a regular baseball game,” Alonso said.

Alonso was up against a host of strong hitters, who were also helped by a well-known hitter-friendly ballpark in Coors Field.

Many had hoped Mancini would win, as his comeback story from stage 3 colon cancer (diagnosed in the spring of 2020 – the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic) was a winner with fans. With every big fly, the underdog gained continually louder cheers from those at the event. “I’m still going through a battle, and there’s so many people going through battles still, but you can go back to where you were before. I feel great about my health and where I am and what the future holds, but you definitely don’t wanna take any day for granted,” Mancini said.

Sadly, the crowd favorite Mancini fell to Alonso in the final round. Overall, there were 208 homers belted in the derby, one of which traveled 520 feet – besting Aaron Judge’s 2018 record of 513 feet. Mammoth blasts were struck by Shohei OhtaniMatt OlsonJuan SotoTrevor Story, Salvador Perez and Joey Gallo.

“It’s just truly a blessing,” Alonso said of his incredible victory.

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