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New York Mets’ Pete Alonso to defend Home Run Derby title

Jul 8, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates after winning the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 8, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso (20) celebrates after winning the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso will defend his Home Run Derby championship.

“I’m back. July 12th @ Coors Field,” he announced Wednesday on Instagram.

Alonso won the 2019 contest at Progressive Field in Cleveland, defeating Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays in the final round, 23-22. The All-Star festivities were canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

So far, only Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels has also committed to the 2021 derby in Denver.

Ohtani and Guerrero were tied for the major league lead in home runs with 23 entering Wednesday. Alonso has just 11 on the season but hit 53 in 2019 on the way to winning the National League Rookie of the Year award.

Alonso, 26, has 80 career homers and 190 RBIs.

Three players have won the Home Run Derby at least twice since its inception in 1985: Yoenis Cespedes (2013-14), Prince Fielder (2009, ’12) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1994, ’98 and ’99).

Coors Field last hosted the All-Star Game in 1998. That was the first year the Home Run Derby was televised live.

–Field Level Media