Monday, July 14, 2014

Yearly HR Derby post

I think I recycle this post every year on the night of the HR Derby. This, along with the dunk contest, was must-see TV for me growing up. It would equal a sleepover with buddies. Pizza, ice cream, candy, snacks. It was an event.

Like the dunk contest, I think it's gotten pretty stale. MLB does keep trying to switch the format to find something that works, although it tends to keep just ending up a bit flat, not to mention inconsistent. Maybe it's me in my older age, just not enjoying something I used to. Wouldn't be the first time.

Regardless, I'll still watch. I always do.

Besides being at Yankee Stadium in-person in 2008 to see the Josh Hamilton HR Derby show, my favorite HR Derby memory is easily from 1997, when Tino Martinez won. That was awesome. I remember watching it and living and dying by every swing. I was 13. It meant something, watching my guy take on guys like McGwire and Griffey and coming out on top.

In 1998, a few sets had Tino in his HR Derby jersey, and I made just to gobble those cards up. It's still one of my fondest memories of him.


  1. If you can stand Mark Berman for that long you're a better man than I am.

  2. I usually skip all the all star festivities. It's just not the same as what I remember as a kid

  3. Chris Berman is the absolute worst. Getting someone new to call the homerun derby would be a good first step in improving the viewing experience. Next they should limit the amount of pitches these guys can see. They pick who gets to throw to them so there is no reason they should be taking 30 pitches.

    1. I actually disagree on Berman. Let me rephrase that. I agree that he's horrible and annoying to listen to.

      However, I don't think removing him is the answer. Then what, adults are happy? It shouldn't be an event for adults. It should be an event to help attract and interest young fans. And, sad as it is, Berman appeals to younger fans. I remember being 12 or 13 and thinking "back, back, back...gone!" was great. It was in my baseball video games too. Baseball has a major problem with an aging fan base...the fans are aging quicker than they are replenishing. MLB is falling rapidly behind the NFL and NBA in terms of the average age of the fanbase.

      I encourage MLB to tailor the HR Derby even more to the younger viewers, especially in terms of talent, music, social media, and announcers. It may turn off some (many) adult viewers, but it's a big opportunity to make an impression and interest young fans.

      Just my two cents.

    2. I loved Berman when I was young too, but I just don't think this generation associates Berman with baseball. The big question is who would be a good replacement? It would be kind of cool to see each guys local announcer call it. Might be able to shed some better information on the player.

      It seems like each year the event is taking too long. Maybe cutting the size of the derby and the amount of pitches that can be seen.