The 2021 Home Run Derby took place Monday night at Coors Field, and the title went to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets for the second straight time. A Re-Pete!
But the Oakland A’s had a slugger competing as well, with All-Star first baseman Matt Olson taking one of the eight spots in the event. Olson didn’t win, put he did put on a show.
The Derby is set up as a three-round single-elimination bracket, and Olson opened the first round against Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles. Mancini posted an impressive 24 homers in his turn, and Olson nearly matched him. He got up to 23 including a pair of 495-footers, then with his final swing he hit another one that had the distance but just hooked foul.
Watch below for the Mancini vs. Olson matchup in its entirety!
There was time on the clock to throw one more pitch, but both Olson and his pitcher (A’s assistant hitting coach Eric Martins) were busy admiring the long foul ball while the final seconds expired. And the clock itself was more of a guideline than a rule, as Mancini was granted leeway when one of his buzzer-beater pitches was released too late (that is an observation not a complaint; there aren’t supposed to be clocks in baseball anyway).
Mancini won his next round as well and went on to the finals, where he was bested by Alonso. It was an impressive performance by Mancini, who returned to action this year after a battle with colon cancer.
While Olson didn’t advance in the bracket, he didn’t disappoint. His 23 dingers were the fourth-most out of eight hitters in the first round, not counting tiebreakers, and he was smiling and having fun the whole time. Click here for details on the full results.
Good job Oly on representing the A’s well this week!