Story to compete in HR Derby at Coors Field

June 28th, 2021

DENVER -- hasn’t minded stepping outside a quiet personality to provide direction and leadership for a Rockies team in transition. He’s done it all while overcoming a right elbow injury that cost him 11 games, and bearing -- or trying not to bear -- the weight of constant trade speculation.

In a year like this, Story deserves to have the fun that comes with competing in the Home Run Derby in his home park. Story announced Monday that he will swing in the event on July 12 at Coors Field.

“There’s always that childhood aspect to it, no doubt,” Story said. “I want to embrace that. That’s a special part of our game. I remember as a kid watching the Derby. I was always so amazed by the performances that were put on. It was something that I was always looking forward to, and I never missed it.”

The Mets’ Pete Alonso, who won the last Home Run Derby in 2019, and Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani have announced that they will participate.

Story has nine home runs in 66 games this season, recording his first multihomer game of the season on Wednesday against the Mariners. Four of Story’s dingers in 2021 have come at Coors Field, and he has hit 88 of his 143 career homers at his home park. The Rockies’ shortstop has reached the 30-homer mark twice in his career -- in 2018, when he hit a career-best 37 and in ‘19 when he launched 35.

Manager Bud Black hopes the Home Run Derby is a chance to highlight what Story has meant to the Rockies. The team has many holes and is in need of reconfiguring, and Story is a coveted player. But Black has marveled at Story’s “all-in” persona, which includes his mentorship of rookie infielder Brendan Rodgers and his willingness to help younger teammates deal with the challenges of a season of grand production at home and struggles away.

“We’ve watched Trevor grow up before our eyes the last five years since his rookie season of ‘16 -- he missed a lot of that due to the [thumb] injury,” Black said. “From ‘17 on, we’ve seen growth from Trevor in so many areas. Nationwide, the acclaim he’s gotten with a couple All-Star Games and just being talked about as one of the better players in the game, it’s all deserved.

“With us, he’s kept everything in proper perspective. His rise to prominence as a star player, he’s handled that very professionally, very humbly, very unselfishly. His place on our team has continued to grow in terms of leadership and as a mentor for some of the young players.”

The announcement comes as Story has tried to stabilize his production. He hit safely in all seven games of the Rockies’ last homestand (11-for-26 with three doubles and a homer). During the five-game road trip Colorado just completed in Seattle and Milwaukee, he went 4-for-20, but three of the four hits were home runs.

Story's acceptance of the invitation is an indication that the elbow injury that kept him out of action in late May and early June is of little concern.

“I’ve always wanted to do it under the right circumstances, and things just lined up for me, with the hometown club here in Denver, in a park that I’m familiar with,” said Story, who said Rockies bench coach Mike Redmond will pitch to him during the Derby. “It’s always been on my radar. I had an opportunity earlier in my career to do it, and I thought now is the time to do it.”