BOMBS AWAY: Oakley’s David Ortiz Crushes His Way to 2010 Home Run Derby Victory
32 long bombs.
That’s all it took for Oakley star slugger David Ortiz to snatch the 2010 Home Run Derby trophy at Anaheim Stadium on Monday (July 12). The Boston Red Sox standout and six-time All-Star powered past Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, 11-5, in the final round – solidifying his place amongst some of the best Derby hitters in Major League Baseball lore.
Blasting his way into the record books, ‘Big Papi’ now has the third-most home runs in the competition’s history – just barely edged out by Bobby Abreu (41 in 2005) and Josh Hamilton (35 in 2008). His late barrage also tied the record for the most homers in a final round.
Our veteran long bomber, who initially stepped out onto the field in his tricked out Oakley Inmate shades, took the title with a combination of power (with home runs averaging 417 feet) and just a pinch of irony. Requesting the services of an arch-rival, Ortiz personally asked New York Yankees bench coach Tony Pena to pitch during the spirited contest.
“As soon as I find out he was going to be here, I was like ‘Tony, can you pitch to me?’ " explained Ortiz, well aware of the rivalry and of Pena’s solid fastball. “He was like, ‘Fine, no problem. I’m going to throw to [Yankees outfielder Nick] Swisher, but I’m going to throw for you. We are here for the fans, it’s not a Yankees/Boston situation, so let’s do it.”
The result was an explosion in the final two rounds and ultimately the title. But victory didn’t come without a little pressure. Ramirez, a personal friend of Big Papi, slugged out nine home runs in the first round and 12 in the following round – but his five in the final round simply weren’t enough to stop Ortiz from sealing the deal.
With 18 homers coming into the All-Star break, Big Papi is looking to carry the immense momentum into the second half of the season.