By Jalen Kountze, Marketing Intern
July 11 was the beginning of All Star Week in the MLB and whether it’s your hometown hero participating or an arch rival, everyone can appreciate the talent and excitement that comes with the All Star events.
The events started on Sunday, Jully 11, with the All Star Futures Game and Celebrity Softball Game. The Futures game showcases the best young talents yet to make the MLB. Young prospects like Adley Rutschman, Julio Rodriguez, and Jarred Kelenic highlighted this year’s game. The game ended in a 8-3 win for the National League with players like Brennen Davis leading the charge going 2-3 with 2 homeruns.
The next event, The Celebrity Game, is an event notorious for creating baseball memories. The biggest celebrities hit the field for an exhibition softball match. This year’s game was headlined by stars Jojo Siwa, CC Sabathia, Steve Aoki, Larry Walker and countless others. Team Heltn, led by Quavo, took the win 20-10.
The next event and arguably the most exciting event of them all was the Home Run Derby. This year’s derby consisted of Pete Alonso, Shohei Ohtani, Trevor Story, Trey Mancini, Juan Soto, Salvador Perez, Joey Gallo, and Matt Olson. The first round of the derby was a loud one. The 2019 Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso smacked 35 home runs to eliminate Salvador Perez who hit an impressive 28 long balls. Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani went into double overtime in their first round, which ended with Juan Soto going 3-3 on home runs in the second overtime to defeat Ohtani 31-28. Many people had Shohei Ohtani as the favorite in this year’s derby so his first round exit came as a shock to many.
Trey Mancini outlasted Matt Olson by one home run advancing to the second round with a 24-23 victory. Trevor Story also took a close victory over Joey Gallo with a 20-19 victory. The second round was a tight one with Trey Mancini and Pete Alonso outlasting Trevor Story and Juan Soto by one home run each. The finale was set, Trey Mancini looking to prove he’s still one of the top power hitters in the league against Pete Alonso who is trying to defend his throne.
Trey Mancini started out hot, launching 22 home runs during his final turn. However, the reigning champ proved to be too much by hitting 6 home runs in a row to finish off Mancini and win the Derby for the second time in a row.
The main event of every year’s AllStar break, The AllStar Game, was set to be a good one. The AllStar roster consisted of players like Shohei Ohtani, Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis, Corbin Burns and many more. The bullpen for the AL was highlighted by Shohei Ohtani who became the first player to start as a pitcher and lead-off in an AllStar Game. The game began with an homage to the MLB Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. (Aaron passed in January of this year.)
To lead off the game, Shohei Ohtani stepped into the box and you could feel the excitement grow in the stadium. He hit a hard ground ball to the second base gap but a great play by Adam Frazier got the out and the game was off to a loud start. The AL was up by one run in the top of the third inning when MVP candidate Vlad Guererro Jr hit a 468 foot solo shot deep to left field to double their lead. The National League didn’t get on the board until the bottom of the fifth inning with a center field solo home run by JT Realmuto to cut the lead to 4-1. His homerun was quickly matched in the top of the sixth inning by Rays catcher Mike Zunino who hit a solo home run with two outs in the inning.
The National League’s only other run came off a wild pitch and the AL won 5-2. After having to cancel last year’s events due to COVID, having an Allstar break again brought a lot of excitement and sense of community that we previously had taken for granted. Fans from all around the country coming together and not caring about the score or stats and just having fun is what the game is all about.