The joy of watching Randy Arozarena take his well deserved spotlight will stay with me for a long time.
Starting the night with his cowboy boots on and a grin on his face, Randy was the first to walk across the stage, was the first and last player to hit in the derby, and ended the night with the second highest tally in derby history with 82 total longballs (just 3 short of victory in the final round).
To celebrate the accomplishment, the Rays posted 2-minute tribute to Randy Arozarena’s Home Run Derby performance that includes interviews with the Rays all-star game attendees.
The only player to ever put up more homeruns was Vlad. Jr — the 2023 winner — who like Randy came up short in 2019 when he blasted 91 longballs in the Derby record. The third most, hit by Mariners star Julio Rodriguez, was 81 when he lost the 2022 derby.
Randy was the third Rays player to ever take on the derby, and the first to advance at all, as Carlos Peña in 2009 and Evan Longoria in 2008 were both were eliminated in the 1st round in their attempts.
In an all-you-can-hit format, Randy struggled to earn bonus time (which required two longballs of 440’), but worked at an exhilarating pace, taking a largely successfu quantity over depth.
The biggest star of the night, though, might have been Randy’s adorable daughter who joined her parents throughout the night on the field.
When Randy only 3 of the five home runs required to win in the final 30 second round, Vlad Jr. sprinted onto the field and greeted Randy with his signature pose in a sign of respect as players on all sides celebrated the raucous night.
Vladdy hit the Randy pose pic.twitter.com/m520YKURyI— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 11, 2023
I think I can speak for all Rays fans in saying thank you randy, you made us all proud! You can watch more of Randy tonight, as he bats third in the American League All-Star Game’s starting lineup.