Ranking the 7 Greatest Moments of the 2013 MLB Home Run Derby

Joe Giglio@@JoeGiglioSportsContributor IJuly 16, 2013

Ranking the 7 Greatest Moments of the 2013 MLB Home Run Derby

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    As Yoenis Cespedes took home the 2013 Home Run Derby crown, one of the most exciting, compelling and lengthy competitions in recent memory came to its conclusion.

    From the opening introductions to following along on social media, the 2013 version didn't disappoint.

    While Chris Davis and Pedro Alvarez, the participants with the most home runs this season, didn't advance to the finals, the duo of Bryce Harper and Cespedes put on a show for the Citi Field crowd.

    Here are the seven best moments of the 2013 Home Run Derby from New York.

7. The Harper Family

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    The relationship between Bryce and Ron Harper is well documented, as father Ron has played a major role in Bryce's rise to a dominant major league force.

    So who better to toss pitches to the young Nationals phenom in the derby?

    Much like with the Cano family during the 2011 All-Star week in Arizona, the Harper family took center stage Monday night.

    During fun events and spectacles meant for the fans, human-interest stories like a father-son combination can captivate an audience. On Monday night, the Harpers did just that.

6. Right-Handed Representation

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    When baseball fans think of the prettiest swings of all time, the conversation invariably gravitates toward left-handed hitters such as Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Darryl Strawberry and Ken Griffey Jr.

    From the natural uppercut to light-tower power on low, inside pitches, lefty sluggers are built for success in home run competition.

    That's why it's of little surprise to reel off recent winners (Prince Fielder, Robinson Cano, David Ortiz, Justin Morneau) of the left-handed variety.

    Heading into Monday evening, Vladimir Guerrero was the last right-handed bat to take the crown. His victory in 2007 represented the only right-handed victor over the last six years.

    Cespedes' victory puts him in a select group of right-handed sluggers to win since 1996, alongside Sammy Sosa (2000), Miguel Tejada (2004) and Guerrero.

5. Prince Fielder's Blast

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    Prince Fielder didn't win his third Home Run Derby crown, but he did blast the night's longest home run, dazzling the Citi Field crowd with a 483-foot shot to right-center field.

    Since the inception of the new Mets park in 2009, pitchers have taken a liking to the park. But as baseball fans have learned over the years, no park can contain the raw power of Fielder.

    The look on the face of Fielder's pitcher, Prince's admiring glance and the audible noise from the crowd said it all here.

4. All-Stars Stand Up 2 Cancer

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    Sports are so treasured in America because they often provide the perfect distraction from real life, but sometimes, their gestures and impact on the real lives of the fans can mean so much in the grand scheme of things.

    On Monday night, baseball continued the Stand Up 2 Cancer campaign in support of a cause that every single person can get behind.

    It's a different scene to watch an entire sports league go out of its way to acknowledge the cause during a live sporting event.

    Much like what the NFL does by sporting pink gear every November, baseball's campaign to Stand Up 2 Cancer is a great gesture and example by Major League Baseball.

3. The Ultimate Fan Excitement

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    From the time any young fan is old enough to go to a game, someone invariably encourages the practice of bringing a glove along to the park. For most fans, it quickly becomes an unnecessary accessory.

    While it makes infinitely more sense to bring a glove along when sitting anywhere in the outfield during a glorified session of batting practice, it would have been hard to predict any of the three right-handed hitters in the Derby (David Wright, Cespedes and Michael Cuddyer) launching a bomb into the third deck at Citi Field.

    When the A's star actually did, one fan used his glove and reacted in the way so many would: sheer jubilation.

2. David Wright's Standing Ovation

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    Since his 2004 debut, David Wright has been the most consistent, durable, dynamic and steady member of the New York Mets franchise. He helped them become contenders early in his career and decided to stick around through an arduous rebuilding process by re-signing last offseason.

    While Matt Harvey has become the toast of Gotham, Wright is still the captain and fan favorite and could go down as the greatest player in franchise history.

    Upon stepping to the plate for his first-round hacks, the New York crowd showed their All-Star their appreciation for his years of success, loyalty and perseverance.

    Earlier this week, the Mets announced plans to induct Mike Piazza into the team's Hall of Fame. Years from now, David Wright will undoubtedly join him there.

1. The Bat Flip

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    Yoenis Cespedes came into the night with a reputation for a powerful swing, but left with the Home Run Derby crown and the coolest bat flip in recent memory.

    After cranking his ninth home run of the final round to cement his victory over Bryce Harper, Cespedes flipped his bat high into the night, signalling that his work was finished.

    While that type of showmanship is frowned upon in actual competition, fans ate the move up Monday night.

    With every long ball, a fan favorite was born. But one bat flip sealed the deal as the lasting image of the 2013 Home Run Derby.