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Monumental mashing: Ranking D.C.’s record 10 All-Star Game homers

Don’t be ashamed. It’s OK to admit you like home runs. You can still go on YouTube and watch highlights of your favorite skinny dudes and slap-hitting middle infielders from the 1970s and ’80s in their too-tight pullover jerseys and beltless pants swinging at 86 mph fastballs. That brand of baseball was fun. All brands of baseball are fun.

That style of game, however, no longer exists. Not in 2018. It’s all about power hitters and power pitching. The big guys hit home runs, the little guys, the in-between guys, the middle infielders and at the 89th All-Star Game, it seemed as if everyone hit home runs, as the AL pulled out a wild 8-6 victory in 10 innings Tuesday night at Nationals Park.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

There were a record 10 home runs hit, four more than the previous mark from 1971, and as many as the previous six All-Star Games combined. Jean Segura looked like the hero and then Scooter Gennett was the hero and then a pair of Astros — Alex Bregman and George Springer — homered off a Dodgers pitcher and suddenly we flashed back to last October. All six home runs in 1971 came from future Hall of Famers; I’m guessing some of the 10 players who connected in this game will end up in Cooperstown as well, and even if you don’t like home runs, we can at least appreciate the talent we saw on display.

Here’s how crazy this game turned out: There were tying or go-ahead home runs hit in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th innings. The last time that happened in any regular season, postseason or All-Star Game was Aug. 7, 2002, between the Mariners and Blue Jays.12

This quote from Astros manager A.J. Hinch after the game says a lot about Bregman’s rise to All-Star status: “I’m not sure if anyone I’ve come across in the big leagues loves baseball more than Alex Bregman. It starts with that and he continues to get better.”

The 24-year-old third baseman has 20 home runs, already topping the 19 he hit last season. Before the game, Bregman had a simple explanation for his increased power output: “Pull the ball hard in the air.” Against Stripling, he took a cutter down the middle on his first pitch and then “went into battle mode and just was trying to put a line drive in play and it left the yard. It was crazy.” Yep. He hit the ball hard and hit it in the air.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

There’s also a neat tie-in between Bregman and Washington, D.C. His grandfather was general counsel for the Senators. “My dad grew up on Ted Williams’ lap,” Bregman said, referring to Williams’ stint as Senators manager. The trophy Bregman won as the game’s MVP? The Ted Williams MVP Trophy. His dad had a photo of him and Williams that Williams had signed. “I looked at that picture for 10 years growing up and our only thing, growing up, my dad always told me, ‘You’ve got to be the next guy to hit .400 in the big leagues.'”