“It Was Totally Unscripted” – Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez Once Lost a Home Run Derby to a 19-Year-Old

Published 02/03/2022, 12:18 PM EST
SAN FRANCISCO – JULY 10: American League All-Star Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees laughs with David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox prior to the 78th Major League Baseball All-Star Game at AT&T Park on July 10, 2007 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: 74588633 GTY ID: 88633CP071_2007_MLB_All_

With David Ortiz officially being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2022, he has been recognized with the honor of one of the greats of the game. Turns out, if you had your ear to the ground, you would have known he was meant for big things much earlier. But don’t beat yourself up, Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez didn’t know either. And he was a few feet from home plate when he saw Ortiz.

When the Seattle Mariners were waiting at a ground, they decided to have a Home Run Derby. And the youth of Ortiz won out over Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey Jr.

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David “Big Papi” Ortiz went on to make his mark in the Majors with the Boston Red Sox, but he was once a minor leaguer too. Like most players in the league today, he developed into the star he was, cutting his teeth in the A league, making his way up. And one fateful day he caught up with then Seattle Mariners star, Alex Rodriguez, and his teammate, Ken Griffey Jr. In a short clip making its rounds on Twitter, we see how the two knew of this star way before he hit the ground running in the major leagues.

The time Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez saw David Ortiz in the making

The crowd gathering was growing restless at the lack of baseball action; and so it was decided that a Home Run Derby would happen. According to someone that was there, the Mariners catcher at the time, Dan Wilson, decided upon the contest. He picked A-Rod and Ken Griffey Jr. to hit for the Mariners. And asked their minor league affiliate, the Wisconsin Timber-Rattlers, to pick any three players to hit against them.

Simple enough. Whoever gets more homeruns, wins.

“It was totally unscripted,” he added, and done completely for the crowd to  “give them what they want.”

The competition turned out to be more eventful than they would’ve liked. “Ken Griffey Jr. can’t hit the ball out of the park to save his life,” he added, and the crowd let him know of that. But this is where the story turns. A certain minor leaguer, who wouldn’t be in the majors for a while still, took home plate.

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You guessed it, it was David Ortiz and his bat that took control of home plate next. And much like his majors career, he dispatched the ball way past the boundary fence.

“A-Rod is seeing the future of baseball right in front of him,” added the media personality. In typical Big Papi fashion, Ortiz was hitting thunders straight past the boundary fence; and all A-Rod could do was stare in amazement. So much so that the camera even catches him at a point saying, “I ain’t got a chance,” ostensibly referring to the home run derby.

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What a blast from the past this was; Two legends staring at each other, unaware of the history they would go on to write.

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Aditya Deshingkar

567 articles

Aditya Deshingkar is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. An aspiring lawyer, Aditya is a final year student of the law program at GLC. Notably, as an avid sports lover, he shares a keen interest in NBA, MLB, and Formula 1.

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