What the Home Run Derby Means to Baseball

Corey TaylorCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 31:  Ken Griffey Jr. #24 of the Seattle Mariners bats against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on May 31, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Home Run Derby is one of the many great festivities that will be taking place during All-Star weekend and has been the case since 1985 to the best of my knowledge. Fans like you and myself love to watch as we listen to Chris Berman and his famous call "Back, Back, Back, Gone!"

We have seen some of the greatest home run hitters ever compete for this trophy. Who doesn't have a picture in their head of Ken Griffey Jr. stepping up to the plate with his backwards hat hitting ball after ball out of the park? I know I do!

Then you have Mark McGwire, and even though he was on steroids, remember the shot he hit off the Budweiser sign at then Jacob's Field in Cleveland? Even if you are on steroids, that is still an impressive home run. Or how about last year when Josh Hamilton put on his tremendous display?

Look at some of the past champions of this competition. You have Hall of Famers and Future Hall of Famers such as Ryne Sandberg, Cal Ripken Jr., Andre Dawson and Griffey Jr. just to name a couple.

Not only do you get to watch the most amazing offensive display in baseball happen over and over again, but you get to see some of the sweetest strokes in baseball, too!

In tonight's Home Run Derby all of you baseball fans might want to watch because you may see something that will only happen once. You get to see Albert Pujols compete for the crown. 

You will also have chance to watch Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Carlos Pena, and Adrian Gonzalez. These guys are some of the brightest up-and-coming power hitters in America's greatest past time. 

Personally, I would like to see a contact hitter such as Joe Mauer win tonight, but undoubtedly I will be cheering for every hitter to break each other's records.

When these players are out there tonight and some of you fans think they are being selfish just remember they are putting this spectacle on for you. They are not required to be out there.

Pujols is giving back to his city. The same city that has been supporting him since he broke into Major League Baseball. They are all playing to win because, let's face it, they are just as competitive as any other athlete.

Watch the competition tonight and enjoy it. When else are you going to get to watch so many big flies in a game? It will be worth your time not to mention it is just flat out fun to watch. The only thing that would make it better in my eyes would be to watch Griffey Jr. vs. Pujols, two of the smoothest swings to ever grace a baseball field.