The Home Run Derby. Home runs are among the most exciting plays in sports. And the Home Run Derby shows that off perfectly.
This article hopes to bring to light some of the single greatest Home Run Derby moments. All the famous ones are here. Hamilton belting 35, and losing. Abreu belting 41 and winning. Ryne Sandberg at Wrigley Field.
This article is chronological order, and if you think that I've left any important Derby moments out, leave me a comment. Let's get this thing started.
Ryne Sandberg, Chicago's son, needed just three home runs to take top honors at Wrigley Field in 1990.
Griffey won three Home Run Derby titles in all, but back-to-back titles in 1998 and 1999 in Coors Field and Fenway Park, respectively. Griffey Jr. hit a total of 35 homers in 1998 and 1999.
Big Mac was hitting a ton at Fenway, and the 37 foot tall Green Monster was no obstacle, as McGwire kept launching balls over the wall, and to the waiting fans below. They were hit so far, ESPN Home Run Derby announcer Chris Berman announced "This one could be headed all the way...to Maine!" The balls were hit so far, they might as well have been hit to Maine.
Slammin Sammy Sosa crushed a record 26 homers in 2000, handedly beating the Red Sox's Carl Everett, who had 12. Sosa's 26 homers ended the reign of Seattle's Griffey, Jr.
Miguel Tejada eventually took the title away from hometown hero Lance Berkman in the finals. Suspense held over Minute Made Park, but Tejada came out on top with 27 homers, 6 more than Berkman's 21.
In a Derby where Nationalities reigned, the Venezuelan born Bobby Abreu took Detroit by storm, as the then-Phillie launched 41 homers, handedly beating Puerto Rico's Ivan Rodriguez and the Dominican Republic's David Ortiz, who both had 20.
The ironic thing is, some players don't hit 41 home runs in their careers. Abreu had 41 in one night.
Ryan Howard took the honor as the second straight Phillie won this Derby with 23 homers, just barely edging out David Wright who had 22.
Why a picture of kayakers? Those kayakers were in McCovey Cove, looking for a homer to leave AT&T Park and land in the Cove. These kayakers got exactly zero splash hits, in both the Home Run Derby, and the All-Star Game.
Anyway, Alex Rios owned San Francisco for 19 homers, but just two in the finals gave Vladimir Guerrero, who hit three in the finals and 17 overall, the crown.
Hamitlon became the hero of the 2008 Home Run Derby, launching a record 28 in the very first round, and hitting 35 in all. But, like Rios in 2007, Hamilton came just short as Justin Morneau hit 5 in the finals, while Hamilton hit just three.