No. 3: Justin Morneau, AT&T Park, 2007
Justin Morneau is the only two-time Home Run Derby participant in Twins history. His first appearance ranks third on our list. He barely missed the cut to make it to the second round of the 2007 Derby in San Francisco. He hit four first round home runs, but lost in a swing off to Albert Pujols (sound familiar?).
Morneau went up against such sluggers as Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero (the 2007 champion), Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and Matt Holliday. At the time, you couldn’t find many sluggers better than those guys. In such a stacked field, Morneau held his own and was able to out hit some big names.
That season, Morneau hit 31 home runs, the second most in his career. Morneau was a deserving participant and went up against a great field of top sluggers. The only thing that could have made it better was if he would have won the whole thing. Maybe someday.
No. 2: Tom Brunansky, Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, 1985
The first ever Home Run Derby was played at the Metrodome in 1985, right in Twins Territory. It was only fitting that Twins slugger Tom Brunansky was one of the participants. He did not disappoint. He hit four home runs, the second best total of the contest. The winner was Reds masher Dave Parker.
The field was incredible. It included five Hall of Famers: Carlton Fisk, Eddie Murray, Jim Rice, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ryne Sandberg. The sluggers who didn’t make the Hall of Fame were pretty good too: Parker, Dale Murphy, Steve Garvey and Jack Clark. It is hard to find a tougher group to face than that.
Brunansky had a pretty good power season in 1985, hitting 27 bombs. He was right up there with the best sluggers of the season. He hung with them in the inaugural Derby, which puts him high up on the list. Plus, he gets style points for doing it in front of the home crowd.