MLB Celebrity Softball Game 2017: Home Runs Fly as the NL Beats AL 28-22

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2017

National League's Livian Hernandez hits a grand slam during the the All-Star Celebrity Softball game, Sunday, July 9, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Home runs are flying out of MLB parks at a historic rate this year, and the offensive surge extended into the 2017 MLB All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game.

The National League defeated the American League 28-22.

In comparison, the two leagues combined for 15 runs total in the AL's victory last year in San Diego.

Many have wondered whether juiced baseballs have contributed to the spike in homers. FanRag Sports' Tommy Stokke and Baseball America's JJ Cooper tweeted the story has carried over to the All-Star softball game:

During his Hall of Fame career, Rickey Henderson hit 81 home runs to lead off a game, an MLB record. The 10-time All-Star added another when he homered off Jennie Finch to get the American League on the board early.

ESPN.com's David Schoenfield thought Henderson headed to Miami with a point to prove:

The Wall Street Journal's Jason Gay thought the celebrity game was already delivering more excitement than the Home Run Derby:

Henderson's home run was part of a five-run first inning for the American League.

Not to be outdone, another legendary leadoff hitter, Tim Raines, homered in the bottom of the second to bring the National League to within a run, 5-4, and then again later in the second as part of a 13-run inning.

During the offensive onslaught, Andre Dawson nearly cleared the left-field fence—344 feet from home plate—with a solo home run. Although he was representing the Miami Marlins during the softball game, Dawson spent the bulk of his career with the Montreal Expos.

Chris Stevenson of TSN 1200 couldn't help but feel nostalgic watching Raines and Dawson putting their talent on display:

ESPN.com's Tom VanHaaren and the Palm Beach Post's Matt Porter marveled at Dawson's power:

Livan Hernandez, who helped the Marlins win a World Series in 1997, nearly left the yard entirely as well. It was impressive power from the former starting pitcher, who hit 10 homers in his 17 years in MLB.

Baseball America's John Manuel enjoyed the moment:

With the AL down 10 runs in the top of the sixth, Henderson began the comeback with a two-run home run. The AL trimmed the deficit to six runs with a two-run double by former Marlins catcher Ivan Rodriguez but couldn't cut the NL's lead any further before Raines caught a fly ball in right to end the game.

Little did fans know they'd be treated to a second home run derby after watching New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge winning the real thing earlier Monday night.

The Washington Nationals will host the 2018 All-Star Game. According to ESPN.com, Nationals Park is tied for 17th in offensive park factor, six spots ahead of Marlins Park. If this year was any example, another homer barrage could be in store in the nation's capital next summer.

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