Home Run Derby: Hamilton Puts On a Show, But Morneau Captures Crown

Matthew IrbySenior Analyst IJuly 14, 2008

Monday night, Yankee Stadium, The House that Ruth Built, became the house that Texas Ranger slugger Josh Hamilton brought down.

Through the first seven home run sluggers, Lance Berkman and Justin Morneau's eight home runs where the numbers to beat.

Then came Josh Hamilton.

For any of those reading that have yet to witness Hamilton hit in batting practice before a game, tonight was proof why you should.  Michael Young said it best in his interview with Erin Andrews—this is a normal event for the Ranger All-Stars.

Hamilton stroked 28 home runs in the first round, four more that Bobby Abreu hit in 2005.

This included a string in which Josh hit 15 long balls to one out. Home run number 14 came with seven outs and he hit number 28 before his ninth out.

In the second round after Ryan Braun, Berkman, and Morneau hit, Hamilton used four outs to stroke four more home runs before calling it a round.

The final round, however, would belong to the former AL MVP.  Morneau hit five home runs in his ten outs, and a fatigued Hamilton was able to hit only three more dingers.

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Not to take any credit away from Justin Morneau, the crown is his, but the night belonged to Hamilton.

At one point during the first round barrage of homers, the Yankee fans were chanting "Hamilton!"

After his second homer, teammate and fellow All-Star Ian Kinsler ran up to Josh cheering.  Throughout the Derby, Hamilton would receive numerous breaks ranging from water bottles from Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez's young son, to a briefcase being put on home plate by Reds ace Edinson Volquez.

Volquez was the player traded from the Texas Rangers in exchange for Hamilton in the offseason. 

Ranger teammate Milton Bradley joined in a couple of times to give Josh a towel-down and late for a photo opportunity with his fellow slugger.

Hamilton's 28 home run display included three shots over 500 feet, and his longest, the 17th home run, measured at 517 feet.

At that point Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, got up out of his chair and walked off, throwing his arms down and saying he was done.

Similar to the Rene Russo line from the movie Tin Cup, "Years from now nobody will remember who won the Open, but they'll remember your twelve." 

Years from now, very few of us will remember that Justin Morneau won the 2008 Home Run Derby, but we all will remember Hamilton's 28.

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