Category Archives: Home Run Derby

Seeing the Greatest Derby in Baseball History: The Night The ToddFather ruled the Home Run Derby World


I saw the greatest Home Run Derby of all time last night live and in person at Great American Ballpark. Here are some notes, and you can click through for the photos.

  • That national anthem, sung by Marlana VanHoose was awesome. Should have known after hearing that it was going to be a special night.
  • And if the anthem wasn’t enough; in the first round when Sean Casey caught that random ball off the bat of Josh Donaldson; the Redlegs should have known it was going to be a night of good fortune.
  • Last night was the loudest I have ever heard Great American Ballpark in any capacity. The crowd was rabid, ferocious, and absolutely wore themselves out for Todd Frazier. I screamed at points until my throat felt like leather.
  • They’ll talk about what Todd Frazier did last night forever in Cincinnati. This will be one of those things that is replayed forever in Cincinnati sports lore and in Home Run Derby moments, and I was there to see it.
  • It was amazing how bad the weather was before – and after the derby – yet it was perfect for that several hour window to watch all the All Stars take batting practice and of course watch Todd Frazier create the signature moment of All Star week.
  • Bryce Harper hit about three moonshot home runs in batting practice in a row into the teeth of a pretty good crosswind blowing right to left in right field.
  • I almost got a foul ball from Todd Frazier’s nephew during batting practice. Yet, some guy using a glove slapped it out of my grasp. Opportunity gone forever.
  • I really liked the new Home Run Derby format. Without it, we weren’t given the dramatics and buzzer beaters.
  • Pretty sure I saw grown men crying in the crowd after Todd won the Derby and  Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ was blaring on the loudspeakers. A special moment. It is hard to get chills anymore at a sporting event, but I had them last night.
  • All Star Fanfest was really cool – probably the best collection of sports memorabilia I’ve ever seen as part of a charity auction in one room of Fanfest – but we were only able to stay for a short while because we wanted to get in to the stadium when the park opened.
  • The Reds are about to decapitate their team core; yet in this disappointing season of losing, Todd Frazier lifted the Reds and their franchise for a night at the center of the baseball world. As we left the park, we were yelling about being winners with other fans. I saw drunk people running down 5th & Vine street traffic giving high fives to cars. Cincinnati loves an All Star game.

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The Home Run Derby is tomorrow in Cincinnati, and we’ll be there


It’s so hard to believe it’s the All Star Break. Where the heck has this summer gone? I think having an eight month old makes the summer feel like it’s five minutes long.

That said, the festivities take place in our home state this year. Because our wife is lovely, she surprised us with tickets to the derby. This won’t be our first derby – we went in 1997 when it was at Jacobs Field when some guy named Nomar Garciaparra won the Rookie Home Run Derby and Tino Martinez won the real thing – but we are definitely excited since it’s been some 18 years since we’ve seen an event like this live.

Chris Berman will be there on the mic to drown out our conversations with friends and other fans. The derby is sponsored by Head and Shoulders. We just now realized that we just don’t watch ESPN anymore for baseball coverage. Back when we attended our last derby, Berman and company from the Worldwide Leader in sports were almost as famous to us as the players participating in it.


This year, the field leaves a little to be desired but there’s still a lot to like. We kind of hope Anthony Rizzo wins the thing, or the Toddfather in front of the home town crowd. It’s kind of cool that old Albert Pujols is doing the event again and still relevant in a home run hitting contest. It’s still a little bit of a bummer that Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, and Mike Trout can’t be part of the contest; but it’s a damn good time and we just want to see guys hit some Nintendo game shots in that bandbox down in the Queen City.

A full report of all we see and experience to come!

Happy Home Run Derby Day!


Another All-Star break commences with the Big Home Run Derby down at Target Field this evening. Chris Berman will be part of your evening if you want to watch the festivities, Lord only knows what kind of stupid catchphrases he’ll have for all of us as the evening progresses.

The derby really is a celebration of the season, tonight is for us fans. There’s really no money involved for the players. They’re doing it to entertain us. That’s the part of it that should be enjoyed.

I’ve got a lot of great derby memories as a kid – and this is definitely one of those baseball things that takes you back to being a kid. An evening of pure enjoyment awaits us, even if Berman is going to try to rain on the party by telling us that ‘Jose Bautista just hit one all the way to St. Paul!’.

Finally Giancarlo Stanton meets Derby. The competition will never be the same (he’s a 3/1 favorite to win the thing per Bovada with Yasiel Puig checking in at 5/1).

The All Star festivities can be kind of sad because the season is half over – I started thinking about NFL and my fantasy football team for the first time last night – but we don’t have to get into all that until tomorrow. I’ll enjoy today and tonight, though I do miss Baseball Tonight at the All Star Gala; here is the only proof on the internet that the neat two hour special after the Home Run Derby existed. It served as a great fireside chat for Karl Ravech, old school Peter Gammons and the other talking heads and really set the scene for all-things second half in the game. It’s another reason ESPN sucks nowadays.

Yoenis Cespedes wins the 2013 Home Run Derby

Yoenis Cespedes

It didn’t matter that he wasn’t an All-Star, Yoenis Cespedes stole the show tonight in the Chevrolet Home Run Derby.

Cespedes hit 17 home runs in the first round of the contest, which was the best of any round total for a player. He basically took two hours off after that and prepared for the final. The showdown was The Cuban vs. The Kid, with Bryce Harper and his father Ron as his pitching coach opposing Cespedes in the finals.

Harper led off the final round with a strong eight home runs, but you could tell in watching him it was a struggle to hit those eight. By the time it got to Cespedes as the final hitter of the night, he had plenty left in the tank. He homered nine times while only using five outs to take home the title.

Altogether it was a great derby. It was entertaining, and I didn’t find myself fighting the urge to change the channel like in those past years; for whatever reason.

A great start to All-Star week.

It’s Home Run Derby Time

Chris Berman

The Home Run Derby. The one remaining time in the baseball season where Baseball and Berman converge.

For one night and one night only, baseball fans are treated to a few hours filled of Chris Berman and his over-used puns and soliloquies. He’ll say stupid shit that couldn’t possibly ever become recycled material. There will be awkward moments. That’s because Chris Berman is past his prime.

But there’s something very traditional about it all, you see. Because since we were all kids Berman has been the emcee for the spectacle that is the Home Run Derby. There is only one guarantee: you’re going to see some moonshots that aren’t human flying out of the yard later tonight. No matter who is providing the commentary, it’s still cool.

Tonight the headliners in our mind are Bryce Harper and Chris Davis. That’s when you don’t want to go to the bathroom. But we want to go on record right now as saying look out for the darkhorse in this competition, Pedro Alvarez. We have a feeling about him. He’ll be hitting with his ears tucked into his hat. It might just be the year of the bull, “El Toro”.

We love the Home Run Derby here at Diamond Hoggers so much that it’s like a damn holiday.

Ah, sweet memories.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby

Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper is no stranger to home run hitting contests, and now he’ll take aim at the biggest home run contest of all at the All Star Game held at Citi Field.

Harper was selected by David Wright to a team that includes Wright, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer. Michael Cuddyer? Well why the Hell is he part of the Home Run Derby? He’s boring as a chicken dinner.

The reason I’m going to watch a week from tonight is to see what Harper and Chris Davis do. It’s nice to have Prince Fielder and Cano in the contest as well. But if Chris “Roid” Davis and Harper check out early, I’ll probably zone out and only check back in mentally to hear what kinds of dumb shit Berman says.

Bryce Harper might be in the 2013 Home Run Derby

According to this tweet I saw this morning from James Wagner of the Washington Post:

I’ve always wanted to see a guy like Adam Dunn in the Home Run Derby, and I’m probably never going to get to see it. I hope Harper decides to take part in it; because it’s about the fans and it doesn’t necessarily mean he has to get into the contest and wreck his body and his swing.

By merely entering in it, he could treat it as his daily batting practice session and excite a few fans with it. He doesn’t have to put on a show like Josh Hamilton did at Yankee Stadium, though that would be cool to see.

Recap of the 2012 Home Run Derby

Prince Fielder wins the derby for the third time. He’s tied with Ken Griffey Jr. now as the leader in the clubhouse by accomplishing the feat that many times.

Here’s a couple of other memories we’ll take from last night’s derby:

  • The crowd booing Robinson Cano for not allowing Billy Butler to partake in the derby, and Cano zeroing out for the contest.
  • Mark Trumbo golfing out a few 420 foot shots where the pitch was pretty low and should have been taken.
  • Chris Berman had a careful amount of ‘back-back-backs’ but hasn’t entirely done away with the phrase.
  • Interviews with Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, getting their first look at being All-Stars.
  • Seemed like the energy at Kauffman Stadium was there last night overall.
  • I want some of the Kansas City Barbecue.
  • The fountain spray for sunken pearls added a nice touch.
  • My wife turned on the Bachelorette for round two. I watched the final round of Joey Bats vs. Prince on my iPhone. Brutal, but it was even getting boring for me. The main course is this evening, I thought to myself.

And that’s it about the 2012 Home Run Derby. The next one will be my 30th. Gross.

Chris Berman is Hosting the State Farm Home Run Derby This Evening

Get ready for all the ‘back-back-back-back’ your brains can handle, and other thrilling calls such as “He hit that one all the way to Wichita! WOW!”

It’s Chris Berman and the 2012 Home Run Derby. I won’t allow one of my favorite nights of the MLB season to be spoiled by Bristol’s most famous sweat-head. I think I’m going to go with Jose Bautista to win this one tonight. Here’s the odds on tonight’s derby:

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As a kid, I remember one of the big deals on RBI Baseball 4 for the old Sega Genesis was ‘sinking a pearl in the fountain’ of Kansas City. How many dozen times is that going to happen tonight?

We’ll be back with a full recap of the evening’s highlights. Definitely root for Berman to catch something stupid, because we’ll be all over it. Also be on the lookout for good screen shots of the evening’s festivities. It’s too bad Harper, Dunn or Bruce couldn’t have sneaked their way into this competition.

A Home Run Derby for Pitchers? Yes Please.

My buddy Trent texted me last night to tell me that Kershaw suggested on ESPN radio that they do a pitchers hr derby. So naturally, that led into a debate about who would be the 8 pitchers to participate and how would it turn out. After a night of Coors, Chris Berman, and Homers, the debate had turned into an absolute mess. My boy RV and I got together this morning to iron everything out. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you:

The 2011 Pitchers Homerun Derby presented by

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