Robinson Cano etched his name in the history books with a record-setting championship performance at the Home Run Derby. By outslugging Adrian Gonzalez 12-11 in the finals, Cano set the record for most homers in the final round, since individual competition began in 1995. Cano hit 32 total home runs, tying for the third-most in a single Derby all-time.
Cano also joins Ryne Sandberg in 1990 as the only second baseman to take home the title, and is the third Yankee to win, along with Tino Martinez (1997) and Jason Giambi (2002). With his victory, the Derby has now been won by a left-handed batter in each of the last four years, and in 13 of the last 16 contests.
The New York Yankees are the third team to have three different players win the Derby, along with the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles/California Angels. Andre Dawson (1987), Ryne Sandberg (1990) and Sammy Sosa (2000) did it for the Cubs. Wally Joyner (1986), Garrett Anderson (2003) and Vladimir Guerrero (2007) did it for the Angels.
Adrian Gonzalez came up just short in the finals but had a noteworthy night at the plate. His 11 home runs in the second round are tied for the second-most since 1995, and, with 31 home runs total, he is the fifth player to hit at least 30 homers in a single Derby.
The 23 combined home runs by Cano and Gonzalez in the final round are easily the most by the two participants in the finals under the current format. The previous mark was set by Garret Anderson and Albert Pujols, who combined for 17 in 2003.
David Ortiz bowed out after the second round, but his nine homers in the first two rounds made him the all-time career Home Run Derby leader with 77, three more than Ken Griffey Jr. hit in his eight Derby appearances.
The Yankees and their fans may be excited that Cano is the 2011 Home Run Derby champion, but it’s worth noting this fact: since the current format began in 1995, the Arizona Diamondbacks' Luis Gonzalez in 2001 is the only player to win the Derby and play on a World Series-winning team in the same season.