Fielder takes dip(s) in HR pool
Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:00 pm
By RONALD BLUM
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prince Fielder made a splash at the All-Star Home Run Derby. Eight of them.
The Detroit slugger joined Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players to win multiple titles, thrilling the crowd at Kauffman Stadium with several shots into the right-field fountain and beating Toronto’s Jose Bautista 12-7 in the final Monday night.
“Just being mentioned with him is real special,” said Fielder, who spent time at Griffey’s house when he was a kid.
“My dad would let me go over and play video games all day. He always took care of me when I was a kid.”
On a night when the Yankees’ Robinson Cano was repeatedly booed and went homerless, Fielder put on the most powerful display among baseball’s big boppers.
Winner at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium three years ago, Fielder had a total of 28 home runs over three rounds to cap the main event on the eve of the All-Star game. He hit the four longest drives of the night, including a pair at 476 feet.
“They were far,” he said. “That’s not easy to hit it out there.”
While the ball stayed out of McCovey Cove during the 2007 Derby at San Francisco’s AT&T Park and the right-field swimming pool last year at Chase Field in Phoenix, there was plenty of aquatic activity in Kansas City, second only to Rome for most fountains in cities around the world.
After three splash shots among his five homers in the first round, Fielder started off the second round as the setting sun lit up clouds in a pretty pink behind the left-field wall.
His mop of dreadlocks visible as he hit without a helmet, Fielder deposited four more balls into the 322-foot-wide water spectacular, which by then was illuminated in the twilight.
He added another water drive in the final round, then leaned against one of his sons while he watched Bautista swing.
“I’m a little disappointed,” Bautista said. “I’m capable of doing more. I had a lot of fun doing it.”
When he won three years ago in St. Louis, Fielder’s 23 homers included a 503-foot drive that disappeared between two sections of bleachers in right-center.
Published in The Messenger 7.10.12