MLB Home Run Derby 2019: A history of the Minnesota Twins in the Home Run Derby

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NEW YORK - JULY 14: Justin Morneau #33 bats during the 2008 MLB All-Star State Farm Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium on July 14, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 14: Justin Morneau #33 bats during the 2008 MLB All-Star State Farm Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium on July 14, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 14: National League All-Star Justin Morneau #33 of the Colorado Rockies during the Gillette Home Run Derby at Target Field on July 14, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – JULY 14: National League All-Star Justin Morneau #33 of the Colorado Rockies during the Gillette Home Run Derby at Target Field on July 14, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

2007 & 2008: Justin Morneau

The Twin with the most success in the Home Run Derby is Morneau as he’s the only Twin that has participated in the event twice and even took home the title in 2008. Between those two appearances, the Minnesota first baseman would hit 26 home runs before declining an invitation in 2009.

Morneau’s first appearance came in 2007 when he took part in the festivities at AT&T Park (now known as Oracle Park) in San Francisco. The field included several top sluggers including Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard, but Morneau held his own tying Pujols with four bombs in the first round. Morneau’s bid would come to an end there, however, as he would fall 2-1 in a swing-off with Pujols.

The following season, the derby was all about Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton. In what was a true Tortoise and the Hare tale, Hamilton went off, smashing 28 of his 35 home runs in the first round of the contest. While the performance was impressive, Morneau had a more steady approach, hitting 18 homers in his first two rounds. With the count reset in the finals, Morneau would out-homer Hamilton 5-3 to win the first derby title in team history.

Morneau would hold off of competing in the derby for the rest of his tenure in a Twins uniform but would make one last appearance in the event as a member of the Colorado Rockies when the All-Star Game came to Minnesota in 2014. After getting a standing ovation from the Minnesota crowd, Morneau would hit two home runs to cap off his derby performances.

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