Colorado Rockies bullpen catcher Aaron Muñoz got a close-up view of the 2021 Home Run Derby at Coors Field. Taking his position behind the plate, it made for a unique sight and some moments he will never forget.
Aaron Muñoz of the Colorado Rockies shares his Home Run Derby memories as Trevor Story’s catcher
Completing the trifecta of Rockies with catcher (Muñoz), pitcher (bench coach Mike Redmond), and hitter (Trevor Story), Munoz watched as Story advanced to the second round with a 20-19 decision over Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers before falling to Baltimore’s Trey Mancini, 13-12.
Muñoz may not have had a need to call any signals, but he was watching along with the rest of the world as Story blasted long ball after long ball, including a 518-foot shot that briefly held the Home Run Derby record before Juan Soto bested him with a 520-foot shot. He also heard the response that Story received from the hometown crowd, including when former Rockies (and current St. Louis Cardinals) third baseman Nolan Arenado and current pitcher (and All-Star Game selection) Germán Márquez pumped up the crowd during one of Story’s home run timeouts.
“It was something special, especially catching with Trevor Story hitting. That’s something I’ll never forget,” Muñoz said. “And then when Nolan (Arenado) and Germán Márquez went out there and tried to pump up the crowd that first time, that was electric. I got goosebumps just from being back there and then Red (Redmond) throwing BP to (Story), it’s just something I’ll definitely never forget it.”
Muñoz admits he didn’t expect to be behind the plate to get a first-hand view of Story’s show, but was honored and surprised to be asked.
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“I wasn’t going to do it, but then Red and Story were like, ‘You know, if we get a chance for you to be back there, we’d love to have you,’ and that meant the world to me,” said Muñoz, who is now in his sixth season with the Rockies and has been praised by manager Bud Black for what he brings to the team as more than his bullpen catcher title implies. “Red encouraging me to go back there and just to be a part of it was something special.”
And the All-Star duties for Munoz aren’t over yet. During Tuesday night’s game, he and Rockies assistant bullpen catcher Kyle Cunningham will work with the National League pitchers to get them ready for their Midsummer Classic appearances.
“Me and Kyle, we’re going to be hanging out in the bullpen today so it’s gonna be fun,” Muñoz smiled. “Just to be around some of the best to do it right now is something really cool. Just to see how everyone has their own different routines that we get to get to see. We know our guys better than anybody, but to get to see some of the best do it and see what they do in the bullpen is going to be something cool.”