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Blue Jays fans call Guerrero Jr. 'future of baseball in Toronto’ after Home Run Derby
Toronto baseball fans were elated watching Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. steal the spotlight at the annual Major League Baseball Home Run Derby on Monday night.
The 20-year-old rookie did not quite win the Derby, but he launched 91 homers into the stands at Progressive Field in Cleveland, setting a record for the most ever in a single contest.
Guerrero also had 40 home runs in the second round, beating the record for most dingers in a single round that he had originally set at 29 in the first round.
While Blue Jays fans do not have much to cheer about this baseball season, they were able to watch the Derby in awe.
“He’s a doll and incredibly talented,” Blue Jays fan Hilda Hinton told CTV News Toronto outside of the Rogers Centre one day after watching the Derby. “I love baseball. He’s a keeper. I was sure he was going to get it.”
“He could use the million, his pay cheque is probably not as great as the other guy.”
Despite his great effort, Guerrero did not take the title. The win went to the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, who hit 23 homers in the final round, beating Guerrero by one. Alonso walked away with the $1 million prize.
“Hats off to Alonso, but Vladimir stole the show,” fan Martin Buckley said while visiting Toronto from Florida.
Another fan, Brett Huttman, said Guerrero, who is the son of former Montreal Expo legend and hall of famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr., is the future of baseball for the city of Toronto.
“Do I see the future of Toronto baseball? Absolutely, he’s an exciting player, he’s dynamic, he’s engaging, he’s personable, he’s a great guy.”
Young baseball fans said they are exciting to continue watching the rookie play for Toronto while on a tour of the stadium where the Blue Jays play.
“This was the best Home Run Derby I’ve seen. Pete Alonso from the Mets and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. from the Blue Jays – that was amazing. He just kept going and going, one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen,” 13-year-old Stephen Schwartz from New York told CTV News Toronto.
At 20 years old Guerrero was the youngest player to ever participate in the Home Run Derby.