Trevor Story’s History-Tying Night Pads All-Star Credentials

Jul 7, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (27) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (27) hits a solo home run in the fifth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

If Trevor Story needed any more of a push to make it into this year’s All-Star Game in San Diego, the rookie shortstop for the Colorado Rockies certainly added to his credentials on Thursday night at Coors Field.

Story continued his, well, storybook season on Thursday night, bashing a pair of long home runs as the Rockies rediscovered their offense in an 11-2 demolition of the Philadelphia Phillies.

With his 442-foot three-run homer in the third inning and 446-foot solo shot in the fifth, Story tied the National League record for a rookie with 21 homers before the All-Star break. He’s now matched in the record books with Dave Kingman (1972) and Albert Pujols (2001).

When Story arrived at his locker after the game, it was the first time he grasped his new place in history.

“I heard something about it. I’m not exactly sure what it is,” Story said, referring to the record.

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Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post informed him and Story took a deep breath.

“Any time you’re with guys like that, it’s an honor,” Story said. “To have done what they’ve done is pretty cool.”

What Trevor Story is doing right now is pretty cool as well.

That solo shot in the fifth was not only the record-tying blast but also the longest he has hit at Coors Field this season. Read Story’s final line for the night … 2-for-3, 2 homers, 3 runs scored, 4 RBI. Not bad for a guy who was battling for a roster spot when spring training opened. Also not bad for a guy who is now battling to be the winner of the Final Vote contest and be the last National Leaguer to earn a spot on the All-Star team.

And before anyone out there says Story’s power is simply a result of the thin air at Coors Field, remember this … 11 of his homers have come in away games. It has nothing to do with altitude. It has everything to do with a player who seems to be once again locked in.

“The past couple of nights, I’ve felt good up there,” Story said. “I haven’t had the results but I keep working and trust my preparation and how it’s going to translate to the field. Keep working. That’s what I do.”

The work ethic is what has made Story become one of the Major League Baseball’s great tales of the first half. Through the best and worst times at the plate this season, Story has refused to break from his routine, continuing to hone his craft and work on getting better at what he does.

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“It’s good to see him swinging the bat. I felt like, even though he hadn’t gotten many hits the last few games, I saw better at-bats and better passes at the ball,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “He really hit those two balls tonight and had a great at-bat with the walk. He’s done that a few times here recently. Unbelievable first half. Quite a way to start a career.”

It was also quite a way to finally shake off the effects of a finger injury suffered late in the win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 26. Since being hit in the ninth inning of that game, Story had been 0-for-16 at the plate prior to Thursday night’s explosion.

“It’s never easy playing this game with finger/hand/wrist issues so it probably was a factor,” Weiss said. “It always makes it tough when you have hand issues.”

Story, however, refuses to blame his finger injury for his cold snap at the plate.

“I really don’t like to blame certain things. I was good enough to play so I gave it my best,” Story said. “It’s not 100 percent but I feel good. Every day it’s getting better. That’s the good news for me. It’s close. It’s just a little nagging but not going to prevent me from playing. I just have to limit my swings. Work smarter. That’s hard for me. I like to swing a lot. I got over it so it’s not a problem.

“The past few games haven’t been what I wanted. I was feeling good but to see the results is always good.”

The results were not only good for Story but for the Rockies as well, who are just 3-7 in their last 10 outings and have a 39-46 mark with three games left before the All-Star break.

“It’s huge,” Story said of the win over Philadelphia. “They’re a good team. We’re trying to set a tone going into the break. We challenged ourselves to finish strong and that was a good start tonight.”

While everyone is talking and texting about #StoryTime, Story says he’s not getting caught up in the All-Star hype. As he told me in New York, whatever happens, happens.

Next: Why We Still Love 21-Year-Old Coors Field

“I try not to,” Story said when asked about keeping up with the Final Vote tallies. “I try to focus on the game and what I can do to help the team win that night. We have people around here for that and they’re doing a good job.”

As good as the Rockies media relations staff might be, Story is making the best impression on voters with jaw-dropping nights like Thursday.