Julio Rodriguez Jul 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners center fielder Julio Rodriguez (44) during the All-Star Home Run Derby at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Fans in Seattle packed T-Mobile Park to see Seattle Mariners star Julio Rodríguez put on a show. He did not disappoint.

Rodríguez drew a tough first-round matchup against New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso. Alonso is a two-time winner of the event and might have also had revenge on his mind, having lost to Rodríguez in 2022.

But by the time Alonso came to the plate to take his hacks, the matchup was essentially over. Alonso launched 21 homers, but that was barely over half of Rodríguez’s total, with the Seattle slugger sending 41 balls into the T-Mobile Park seats.

Not only did Rodríguez easily beat Alonso, but his 41 first-round homers were by far the most of any of the eight participants. None of the other sluggers even reached 30 home runs in the first round, with Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert’s 28 home runs being the second-best total in the opening round.

His performance got the attention of NBA star, Kevin Durant.

And KD was not alone. Rodríguez’s performance turned a lot of heads.

If there was a drawback for Rodríguez, it’s that much like the record-setting performances of Mark McGwire in 1999 and Josh Hamilton in 2008, it didn’t translate for the rest of the Derby. Perhaps a bit tired from his first-round showing, Rodríguez was nowhere near as strong in the second round, hitting 20 home runs. Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. topped that without much drama.

But while Rodriguez didn’t come away with a Home Run Derby victory, the record-setting first round in front of his home fans will be a lasting memory.

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