Derby field set with Gallo getting invite

Rangers' 3rd-base coach Beasley to throw to slugger after battle with cancer

July 7th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- Rangers slugger will compete in the 2021 Home Run Derby on Monday, the club announced on Twitter on Wednesday.

Gallo’s addition completes the field as he joins Shohei Ohtani, Trey Mancini, Pete Alonso, Matt Olson, Trevor Story, Juan Soto and Salvador Perez in the star-studded event. The Home Run Derby is set to take place on Monday at Coors Field during the All-Star Week festivities.

“Everything kind of worked out,” Gallo said. “I didn’t want to do the Derby unless I made the team. So I thought it'd be fun. How many opportunities do you get? The Rangers really supported me doing it. I thought it was a good opportunity to just see what happens.”

Gallo will bring Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley to Denver to pitch to him in the Derby. Beasley has been in that position for Texas since 2015 and was going to go with Gallo to Cleveland if he had participated in the Derby in 2019.

Beasley missed part of the 2016 MLB season due to his struggles with rectal cancer, but he has been fully healthy and back with the team since January 2017.

“With what he's been through and what he's overcome, it’s like, that’s the story,” Gallo said. “It should be more about him, honestly, than me. I want to give him some recognition. I think it’s really cool, and he's always wanted to throw to me in the Derby, so I'm really excited about him being able to do that.”

This is Gallo’s second All-Star selection and first Home Run Derby. He’s the first Rangers player to compete in the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2015, and he’s looking to become just the third Ranger to win it after Rubén Sierra in 1989 and Juan González in '93.

Gallo has 23 dingers on the season, his most prior to the All-Star break, surpassing his 22 in 2018. Gallo, who has 143 homers in his seven-year big league career, is also the first Ranger to hit 10 home runs in a 10-game span following his two-homer game against the Tigers on Wednesday.

Overall, Gallo is slashing .239/.395/.515 with a .909 OPS this season. Over his past 30 games, he has compiled 26 RBIs with 14 home runs.

“I think there's a lot of people excited about that right now, especially Ranger fans,” said manager Chris Woodward. “They've been wanting to see this for a while. I think we all have. He's excited about it. The way he went in the bat right now, there's a lot of hype around him. To see him in [the Derby] will be pretty cool.”

Gallo was asked to do the Derby in 2019, which was his first All-Star selection, but he and the organization decided against it as he struggled with injuries that season.

Gallo said he wasn’t initially considering participating this year, but talking to Woodward and Rangers general manager Chris Young convinced him that it would be a good opportunity for him.

“For me, I plan on kind of doing one and saying, 'I did it,'” Gallo said “But talking to [Young and Woodward], they were like, ‘Man, I think it would be great for you.’ Things kind of just worked out. I made the [All-Star] team, I’m swinging it well and I'm healthy. I don't want to wait too long. I'm still in a Ranger uniform so far, so I want to do it in a Ranger uniform, for sure.”