CINCINNATI — The Hometown Hero came through, The Toddfather, Flavah Fraz, won the Home Run Derby Monday night on his home turf, Great American Ball Park.
Because of the park’s small dimensions, some call it Great American Small Park and former Reds pitcher Kent Mercker called it Great American International Airport, “Because baseballs fly out of there.”
And the contestants had them flying Monday night.
With encouragement from a sold out house chanting, “Let’s go Frazier, let’s go Frazier,” when he stepped into the box, Frazier survived three elimination rounds to take the title he wanted so much.
He faced hard-hitting left hander Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finals and Pederson put up 14 home runs. The crowd cheered every time he failed to reach the walls.
Frazier was down, 14-5, when he took a time out with 2:35 left, then hit nine more to tie Pederson. Then on the first pitch from his brother during his 30 seconds of bonus time, Frazier drilled one into the left field seats to clinch it.
Frazier, the No. 2 seed behind Albert Pujols, defeated ttwo-time Home Run Derby champion Prince Fielder in the first round, 14-13, then put down Josh Donaldson in the semifinals, 10-9 with home run just 24 seconds from expiration time.
Pederson eliminated Pujols, the No. 1 seed, in the semifinals, 12-11.
After the lat home run disappeared into the left field seats, the public address system began playing Frazier’s favorite singing artist, Frank Sinatra, and the song was ‘My Way.’