Mon Jul 13 11:31pm EDT
ST. LOUIS — After witnessing the resurrection of a career in 2008, every baseball fan knew that it could only be up to Albert Pujols(notes) to slam a story in 2009 that would top Josh Hamilton's(notes) in the Home Run Derby at Busch Stadium on Monday night.
That didn't quite happen — Pujols limped into the second round before bowing out quietly — and the result was that we gained a greater appreciation for the 28 homers that Hamilton hit in the first round of the '08 HR Derby at old Yankee Stadium before falling to eventual champion Justin Morneau(notes) of the Minnesota Twins.
So who won on Monday night? Well, that would be Milwaukee's Prince Fielder(notes), who needed only six homers to beat the Rangers' Nelson Cruz(notes) in the final round. It was relatively anti-climactic, sure, but what the Brewers lacked in big totals, he made up for in distance. Several of his final homers sailed far into a sea of red in the right-field bleachers and one homer was even estimated at 503 feet. He hit the four longest homers of the night and eight of the 10 longest. Add all 23 dingers up and you get 4,625 feet.
Oh, and one more fun fact of the night: Fielder used Ryan Braun's bat to hit the 500+ shot.
"I've never hit one 500 feet," Fielder said afterward. "It was pretty cool to win one. As a kid, you never think you'd win one ... it was a dream come true, I guess."