It was an amazing night for Robinson Cano, winner of the 2011 Home Run Derby. To win the event in record breaking fashion in the final round was nothing short of spectacular, but to have your father pitch for you and witness history in the making, that, my friends, is the bigger story. To watch this night unfold right before my very eyes was incredible! The crowd and atmosphere at Chase Field was electrifying!
Jose Cano, Robinson’s father, a former pitcher, played briefly for the Houston Astros in 1989. And by briefly I mean he pitched a total of six games for the team.
When Robinson called his father in the Dominican Republic to come to the U.S. and pitch for him during the Derby, he of course said yes. He told reporters last night at a press conference following his son’s win:
“That’s what I do all the time at home, and when he called me that he wanted me to come to the United States because he was going to be in the Home Run Derby, I said I’d be happy to pitch for him, because it’ll be just like home. Whenever he’s off from the season, we are working on a lot. So it worked today, because sometimes you work, and you never know what’s going to happen, when he’s going to need you. It worked. Thank God it worked.”
The elder Cano would pitch for last year’s winner and captain of the American League team, David Ortiz, as well.
Prince Fielder (who was booed repeatedly by myself and other Diamondbacks fans) exited in Round 2, as did last year’s winner, David Ortiz. Fielder did have the longest homer at 474 feet, but Cano wowed the crowd when he hit a 472 footer off the Diamond Club sign. The fans went nuts!
The father-son duo combined for a total of 32 home runs. 12 of those homers came in the final round, where he squared off against Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox, who had previously hit 11 home runs. When Cano tied at 11 home runs, he and his father came together for an embrace. The elder Cano would tell his son, “‘Just one, just give me the one, that’s it.” His son delivered.
It was an incredible night and was thrilled to be able to see it in person. If the Derby ever comes to your neck of the woods, it is a MUST SEE. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.