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PRINT EDITION
Like father, like son: Dad watches as Guerrero breaks derby record
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THE CANADIAN PRESS
  
  

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page B13

As Vladimir Guerrero Jr. put his impressive power on display during Monday night's home run derby, his Hall of Fame father was enjoying the show.

The elder Vladimir Guerrero, who won the 2007 version of the home run derby in San Francisco when his son was just eight years old, sent out a series of six tweets during the Monday night event in Cleveland, including one that read simply: "Big boy has power."

Quite the understatement.

The Blue Jays rookie hit a total of 91 homers over three rounds - needing three separate tiebreakers to get past Dodgers slugger Joc Pederson in the second - smashing the derby record in the process.

Guerrero Jr., who ultimately lost 23-22 in the final to New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso, beat Pederson 40-39 in the semifinals.

The two big swingers tied 29-29 in the initial four-minute round and 8-8 during 60 extra seconds. They each hit one during a three-swing tiebreaker and Guerrero Jr.

hit two in a second three-swing tiebreaker to finally win the round.

Guerrero Sr. responded to the tense second round by tweeting a GIF of Kermit the Frog biting his fingernails - no caption required.

When the derby was over, the former Montreal Expos star tweeted: "Great work son, I'm proud of you." He also shared a photo of his son from the derby on his Instagram account with the same caption.

Guerrero Sr. wasn't the only one to post his approval over Twitter on Monday night.

Blue Jays teammate Marcus Stroman, who was taking in the all-star festivities at Progressive Field and gave Guerrero Jr.

water bottles and Gatorade during his timeouts, called the spectacle "unreal."

"Beyond thankful I could witness in person," tweeted Stroman, who was named to his first all-star team, but won't pitch in Tuesday's game owing to an injury. "You're a legend young king! #VLADDYJR BlueJays."

Former Toronto outfielder Jesse Barfield, the first Blue Jays player to participate in a home run derby, also tweeted about Guerrero Jr. on Monday night.

"Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is unbelievable!!! WOW!!!" he said.

Barfield was the major-league leader in home runs with 40 in 1986, the same year he participated in the derby at Houston.

He belted out just two homers in that competition.

"I'm very excited about our future!" Barfield tweeted on Tuesday. "I know because we've been thru this also in the early 80s.

And it only gets better with experience.

And thank you Blue Jays fans for being patient and not giving up on these guys!"

Guerrero Jr. smashed out 29 home runs in the opening round of the derby against Oakland's Matt Chapman - breaking the old record of 28 set by Josh Hamilton in 2008. He reached 29 again in Round 2.

Guerrero's average home-run distance in Round 1 was 421.5 feet, with an average exit velocity of 168.6 kilometres an hour.

His third bomb was estimated at 476 feet.

Guerrero also hit the longest dinger of the night at 488 feet.

Associated Graphic

Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. takes a swing during the home run derby at Progressive Field on Monday in Cleveland. The rookie hit 29 home runs in the opening round, breaking the 2008 record, but lost the final to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.

TONY DEJAK/AP


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