So what, Kyle Schwarber didn’t actually win the Home Run Derby.
And so what, second place Home Run Derby finishers are pretty hard to name of the top of the head, or any other part of the head for that matter.
You have to figure that what Schwarbs did in losing by only 1 dinger to this All-Star Week’s de-facto host, Bryce Harper, could allow him to remain in the pantheon of memorable Derby performances in spite of it not being award-winning.
What Schwarber did outside of winning was help propel this overall exhibition into record-territory by being the most prolific Derby of all time, as you can see in the tweet above.
We in Chicago have been privy to Schwarber’s Ruthian ways since the 2015 postseason when his defining home run against St. Louis in the National League Division Series provided the first real glimpse into what the young Cubs were going to be capable of and how far they were looking to separate themselves from the franchise’s sorry past.
Then in 2016, there were the blazing swings of Schwarber’s that helped bring the Cubs back to life in the World Series and deepened the connection to the then still chubby one-tool wonder who had been almost forgotten in the eventual championship run due to his injury earlier that year.
In the time since Schwarbs has dedicated himself to losing weight, making himself a more functional player in the outfield — the only place on the Cubs where a spot remained for him outside the batters box — and a more irreplaceable member of the Cubs community.
No longer is Schwarber as prone to trade speculation as he once was and after Monday night he once again is as proud a talking point as Cubs Nation can provide to the baseball world, a still developing figure not only with a skill that can be touted but the best skill, the one that turns mere ballplayers to myths.
Too bad it took another mythic young slugger to top him. Maybe Harper’s momentous final round (btw, how good is the formatting and presentation of the Derby now? This is certainly one of those things we can’t say was better when we were kids…) was a bittersweet gift from a franchise player who could be out the door (and maybe North Side bound…). Maybe Harper and D.C. needed the win a little bit more, having seen the “team of the NL future” title swept out from under them by the Cubs (and maybe now by the Braves and Phillies too…)
Maybe Schwarbs just needs another reason to come back to the Derby. It couldn’t be too easy for him the first time, he looks natural enough in the competition, if he won it running away he may have stepped away indefinitely with nothing else to prove. Lets keep giving Schwarbs something to prove, it seems to work for him to be in such a position.
No, lets make Schwarber in the Derby an indefinite feature of all-star weeks to come and hopefully he’ll add to his resume some appearances in the game as well. The man is a sight, and as he continues to prove, he’s much more than a side show.
Follow Kyle Means on Twitter @Wrk_Wrt; Follow We Are Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under “We Are Regal Radio”