Home Run Derby Moments to Get You Ready For Tonight
One of my favorite events of the year is the Home Run Derby. Why? I can't explain it, but maybe these moments will.
My love for the home run derby started back in 1999. I was 9 at the time and couldn't wait to watch the All-Star weekend from Boston. Even as a young Yankees fan, there was something about the weekend in Boston that captured my attention immediately.
The Home Run Derby that year might have been the most anticipated. One year after Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa captured the sports world by slamming baseballs out of ballparks nightly, they both entered the 1999 derby.
Joining them? Ken Griffey Jr, Jeff Bagwell, and Nomar Garciaparra. All was set up for a good night. Unfortunately Sosa only hit one home run in the first round and was eliminated. Then McGwire was eliminated in the semi-finals after hitting just three. Griffey Jr. claimed his third title with 16 overall home runs. To this day, even with the lack of home runs, it's one of my favorite Derby experiences.
If there is one major hook to the derby it's how individuals perform on the stage. There have been some crazy numbers within the last few years. Who could forget 2008 when Josh Hamilton lit up Yankees Stadium with 28 home runs in just the first round?
By the way, Justin Morneau won that year. Not Hamilton. Just in case you forgot.
Bobby Abreau was a monster in 2005. 24 home run's crushed in the first round alone. He finished with an impressive, and to this day still a record, 41 total home runs hit between all rounds.
My personal favorite moment came in 2011 from Chase Field in Phoenix. The final round featured Yankees/Red Sox, a Dad pitching to his son, and a walk-off celebration.
Adrian Gonzalez thought he had it signed and delivered after hitting 11 in the final round. With one more opportunity, Robinson Cano stepped to the plate with his Dad pitching to him. Cano went on a tear and it set up for a fantastic finish.
The 2015 MLB Home Run Derby takes place tonight at 7:00 (pending weather) in Cincinnati.