Gallo eliminated at Derby, doesn't go quietly

July 13th, 2021

DENVER -- Rangers slugger has competed in and won two home run competitions in his career -- once at the High School Home Run Derby and again in the Minors.

He unfortunately didn’t go 3-for-3, as he bowed out in the first round of the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday at Coors Field, falling to hometown favorite Trevor Story, 20-19.

Gallo was booed as he stepped into the batter’s box following Story, which he wasn’t exactly sure how to feel about.

“I’m happy for Story,” Gallo said. “Obviously when you go against the home guy, it’s going to be going a little more against you. I could definitely feel that a little bit. I kind of expected that. I’m happy that he got such an ovation. That’s so awesome for him.”

Gallo almost tied it, with his final batted ball going over the right-center-field wall, but it was ruled to have been hit after the clock hit zero.

Gallo, the 10th Rangers player to compete in a Derby, launched his longest homer at 494 feet with a 112 mph exit velocity, according to Statcast. He said it took him and his pitcher, Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley, a while to get into a groove, and when they did it was too late.

“I thought I hit 20 right before Beasley let [the last one] go,” Gallo said. “It’s hard to tell, like I don’t really know which ones are going out or not. I’m hitting them and trying to see in the corner of my eye. I’m just trying to look at Beasley and keep hitting. I’m not sure. It’s all in good fun though.”

Gallo added that it was also more tiring than he expected, and two more rounds would have been rough.

In the three-minute round, Gallo had hit just four home runs when he took a timeout with 1:44 left on the clock. He talked to Beasley and fellow Rangers All-Star outfielder Adolis García, both of whom offered some encouragement.

“Beasley was just saying, ‘We’re good, we can do this. We just need to get into a groove,’” Gallo said. “I said, ‘Just keep throwing middle-in and I’ll keep trying to hit homers.’ And once I got into a groove, it was good. We stayed positive the whole time. We were just trying to have fun.

“Adolis was just like, ‘Come on, you can do it. Let’s go. You want a water? Gatorade?' I switched up my bats a little bit, just to switch the mojo. I wish I did better for them. Maybe another time.”

Gallo is batting .239/.402/.522 with a .923 OPS at the All-Star break. He leads the Rangers and is ranked third in the AL with 24 home runs, including 10 in a 10-game stretch from June 26-July 7. He was the first player in franchise history to accomplish that feat.

Gallo added that he might have to return to a Derby soon so he can reclaim his high school and Minor League crowns.

“It was fun, a lot of fun, especially for the first time,” Gallo said. “I’m happy Beasley got to do it, too. It was a good experience. I just wish I would’ve done better. Possibly in the future I’ll have to try and redeem myself.”