Abreu smashes records, wins Home Run Derby

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bobby Abreu, welcome to the spotlight.

The Philadelphia Phillies star, now 31 and a two-time All-Star, has produced well for the Phillies over the last half a decade without the glamour of other top players. However, last night there was no denying that he was the star of the show.

And what a show it was. The first batter in the 2005 Home Run Derby, Abreu proceeded to shatter the previous record of 15 home runs in a round, belting 24, including a 517-foot moonshot that exited the stadium in right field, going through two bats in the process. This rampage came immediately after ESPN announcers Chris Berman and Joe Morgan described Comerica Park, the site of the Derby, as a difficult park to hit home runs in.

In the second round, Abreu edged past Boston's David Ortiz (who himself hit an astounding 17 homeruns in the first round) and Milwaukee's Carlos Lee to earn a spot in the finals alongside Detroit star Ivan Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who snuck into the second round with 7 dingers, swatted the most in the second round, but his home-field advantage deserted him in the finals as Abreu smashed 11 over the fences to win the Derby for his native Venezuela.

Abreu's three-round total of 41 homers broke Miguel Tejada's record of 27, set last year in Houston's Minute Maid Park.