If not for Aaron Judge, Miami Marlins first baseman Justin Bour would have been the story of MLBs All-Star Derby. Bour came close to eliminating Judge in the first round and changing the course of history.
Final verdict: tonight was EPIC. Congratulations, @TheJudge44! #HRDerby
Today, all he can think about is what could have been as the headlines, social media, news stories and blogs are dominated by Judge.
EVERY AARON JUDGE 500+ FT HOME RUN DURING HOME RUN DERBY 2017 (BEST HOME RUN DERBY PERFORMANCE EVER)
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Bour crushed 22 homers in the first round, at one point calling a timeout and waving his arms erratically to implore the hometown fans to get into it while his teammate Giancarlo Stanton shoved a doughnut in his mouth.
He fell short of victory, but the entertainment value was at 1000. In fact, he was Bryce Harpers sleeper pick to win it all, so he had a few believers out there.
Bour was not only a major underdog, but he was probably the least known contestant in the Derby. After last nights performance at the very least, his fan base has increased, because he put on a tremendous show at one point leading Judge 22-7 in homers before the gentle giant found his stroke and started shooting missiles all over the field to the tune of 500-plus feet, to pull out a 23-22 victory in the most hotly contested round of the evening.
Bour knew that he had to slay goliath to advance in the Derby. He knew he had the most formidable task of any of the contestants.
Asked at the pre- Homer Derby press conference if he sought any advice from Stanton, his teammate and last years Derby winner who was upset in the first round by Yankees power-hitting backstop Gary Sanchez, Bour replied:
Its all about finding that rhythm and vibe. I took a peek at the highlights from last year. If I can do what he can, I think Ill be okay. Im going to have to hit quite a few home runs in the first round to get by this guy (Aaron Judge). About 100 will do.”
Bour wasnt lying and he knew exactly what lied ahead. Talk about a tough first-round draw. He didnt need 100 to beat Judge. In fact, 24 homers would have done the trick, but he came up just short.
His potential Cinderella story was overshadowed by Judges incomparable and swift rise to legend status. All he can really do is dream about what could have been, because all anyone will remember is that he was another victim in Judges power assault in Marlins Park on Monday night.