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.


This is what the drive looked like on the way to Cincinnati.

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I love that the Reds put up a new scoreboard that will remain forever, ready just in time for this All Star week.

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Here’s Ken Griffey Jr. throwing out the first pitch. It was cool to have the guy I grew up turning the derby on television for on hand for this one.

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A couple derby contestants hug it out prior to doing battle.

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Here’s a better view of that scoreboard – and right at this moment I was telling my buddy Joe that I really miss watching Griffey Junior play.

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Little did he know it at this point, but it was meant to be the Toddfather’s night.

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Derby Contestants on the big screen in right field.

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At first I didn’t like that some guy stuck his #1 finger up in my picture. Looking back, it’s a pretty cool shot.

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All the big networks were in the house for this one obviously. I saw Al Leiter, John Smoltz, Pedro Martinez and all the MLB Network guys walk buy during batting practice not long before this photo was taken.

Also, how about Chris Berman’s green joker hair.

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There was a concert by Walk the Moon before the game.

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Prince and Todd getting ready for their showdown in round one.

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It’s not All Star game time until you see Billy the Marlin.

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One of my favorite shots of the day during National league batting practice.

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The first time and possible the last time I’ll see the All Star Game bunting at a park I’m present in.

Here’s a video I shot of Frazier that does not capture how rabid the crowd was: