So before things got started they had a concert first, of course.
Judge's first-round opponent Justin Bour mashed 22 home runs, applying massive amounts of pressure to the first time participant that was also the co-favorite.
Didn't think we'd see a Home Run Derby choke job?
And yet, Judge came out and clubbed 23 home runs to beat Bour, and he did it with time to spare as well. He has seen Judge rapidly evolve into a patient slugger who forces pitchers to feed him a strike.
"I think it would be hard to convince the owners to go forward with an expansion until those situations are resolved", Manfred said.
"My first year in the big league I would walk up there, the first pitch would go by and I'm wondering why I missed that pitch".
Remarkably, Judge still had one minute left in the semifinals and just under two minutes remaining in the championship round when he hit his clinching dingers.
Meanwhile, Smoak cited his dodgy batting practice form. He had the unenviable position of going up against Judge, but made sure that he didn't disappoint the crowd, mashing an incredible 22 home runs. That ball would have sailed out of the park easily, but per the ground rules, it did not count.
Unfortunately, the seven-footer wasn't able to make the grab on the home run by Twins slugger Miguel Sano - not even with that massive wingspan.
Judge smacked shots for 501 feet, 504 feet, 507 feet and 513 feet, awing fans.
"I was just trying to get out of the first round, to be honest", he said. But after the first pairing, I began to realize just how hard this must be to go 3 Rounds power hitting for 4 Minutes each. Stanton began to find his grove and hit a 496-foot shot off the glass behind the left-field seats, then started spraying impressive drives. No other player eclipsed 500 feet in the entire competition. Judge accomplished that feat by hitting the second-most homers ever in a derby, launching 47 compared to Stanton's record of 61 previous year in San Diego.
Judge, a modern-day Babe Ruth in some ways, is breathing life back into baseball with the swing of a bat. And yet, after some of those massive blasts, he couldn't help but laugh at himself. All four opening rounds matchups were decided by one home run, with Mike Moustakas and Giancarlo Stanton coming up one short as time expired, and Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge winning in extra time. He was doing it as a right-handed hitter going to the opposite field. He joined the ESPN broadcast team during Judge's at-bats and said he thought his chances of advancing to the final were "negative 12". "I use it as motivation to tell you 'Don't take anything for granted.' This game will humble you in a heartbeat".