Back, Back, Back…..GONE! You’ll be hearing a lot of that tonight when 8 of Major League Baseball’s top sluggers compete in the annual Home Run Derby.
Over the years, the NBA dominated the All-Star exhibitions with the Slam Dunk contest that featured some of the biggest names in the sport. All-Stars such as Dr. J, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, and Dwight Howard have all won. But in recent years, many of the superstars have declined an invite to showcase their skills. There’s no exact answer to why so many of them skip out, but whatever reason it is, it’s killing the once prestigious event.
On the other hand, Major League Baseball is doing it right. Every year, the top sluggers compete in a 3 hour, home run mashing extravaganza. Fans love this more than the game itself. Heck, it seems as if the players like it more. It’s pretty cool to see all of the players and their kids lined up in front of the dugout, taking pictures and video of the whole experience.
I believe that one reason the Home Run Derby has surpassed the Dunk Contest is because every year it’s different. Sure, the goal is still the same, but seeing if your favorite player can hit it over the Green Monster at Fenway, or into McCovey Cove at AT&T park, is so cool.
Josh Hamilton became somewhat of a cult hero when he put on that crazy display at old Yankee Stadium with 28 homers in the first round. But no one remembers that it was Justin Morneau who actually won. Heck, people were rooting for Mark McGwire to keep breaking car windows in the parking lot beyond the Green Monster, but it was Ken Griffey Jr. Who won.
Jumping over cars, having teammates throw alley-oops, it’s all the same these days. There’s only so much you can do with a 10 foot high rim. But watch when Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez start hitting homers into the pool in right field. That will never get old.
This fan votes for the Home Run Derby.