Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

All-Star Home Run Derby: A Quick History

I realize A&G has come out, at least in retail, but I'm in no position to buy a box right now, and if I see it in store it would essentially be a waste of money. My A&G money was better spent picking up a base set. If I can find some of the autographs I want at the right price, I'll grab those; everything else for the Zoo will come eventually. Feel free to offer me any of the inserts/parallels you have in trade. I'll start a Ginter page once I compile a complete list of all the sets in the release.

I'm still working on Topps Series 2. I need base cards, Kimballs, Before There Was Topps, and 60 Years of Topps. I have plenty of Series 1 base singles, a decent bit of inserts, and a good stack of Series 2 cards. I also have plenty of Gypsy Queen base singles.

Thanks to the ESPN Sportscenter app on my iPod (no, I wasn't paid for saying that, though I should have been), I realized I was missing the Home Run Derby. I managed to watch the final round. I was fairly amazed at the patience Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano had at the plate, waiting for their choice pitches. Cano really seemed dialed in, too - I have to wonder how many more he would have hit if he had gone first in the final round.
Just look at that concentration. That's a perfect picture of how to keep your eye on the ball.

I realized that the Home Run Derby winners were lacking from my Awards and Leaders Collection. Every time I add a little part to my collection I end up learning a bit about it.

Maybe I should write it like a middle school research paper.
I did my report on the Home Run Derby. The Home Run Derby is where baseball players hit home runs and the one who hits home runs the most wins a trophy and Robinson Cano won the Home Run Derby this year and he beat Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano is on the Yankees but Adrian Gonzalez is on the Red Sox team but both are from the American League and Robinson Cano hit 12 home runs in the last round to win. [Remainder of report is copied from Wikipedia.]
Nah. Although I will admit Wikipedia is my major source for this post.

The Home Run Derby got its start in 1985, at the All-Star Game played at Hefty Bag Stadium (that would be the Metrodome in Minneapolis). From 1985-1990, each player batted for two "innings" (rounds), each with five outs. From 1991 on, the Derby has been similar in format to the current contest, with various rule changes and a few aborted rules. The home run count was reset after each round until 2006. Players represented their country instead of league in 2005, in honor of the World Baseball Classic. There have been changes to the number of players in the contest. For four years, the second round was a match play.

1985: At the Metrodome, Dave Parker wins the first contest for the NL with six home runs. Five players tie for second with four, three hit two home runs, and Cal Ripken Jr. has only one shot.

1986: Wally Joyner and Darryl Strawberry tie for the lead with four home runs at the Astrodome. Dave Parker is close behind with three. Jesse Barfield has two, while Jose Canseco and Hubie Brooks (remember him?) hit one apiece.

1987: You may have noticed that there were eight players in '85, and only six in '86. The 1987 match has the fewest to participate: four players. Held at Oakland Coliseum, George Bell and local player Mark McGwire each hit only one home run, while Ozzie Virgil, Jr. has two. Winning the contest that year iss The Hawk, Andre Dawson, who hits four blasts, the same as all other competitors combined.

1988: Due to rain, there is no Home Run Derby.

1989: Anaheim Stadium plays host to the Derby that year, back to eight players. Ruben Sierra and Eric Davis tie for the lead with three apiece. For the first time, a player in the Derby has no home runs in the contest: Gary Gaetti.

1990: Hosted in the "friendly confines" of Wrigley Field, this is the weakest Derby since its inception - only five home runs total are hit, with Ryne Sandberg hitting three of those for the win. Mark McGwire and Matt Williams hit the other two.

1991: With a revised format involving rounds and an increased number of outs (up from five to ten), this contest posts the first double-digit home run total. Cal Ripken Jr. walks out of the SkyDome with 12 shots to win the Derby. Paul O'Neill was second - with five.

1992: At Jack Murphy Stadium, Mark McGwire shows a sign of things to come for his career when he met Ripken's previous record of 12 home runs to win the title. Ken Griffey Jr. is second with 7 home runs.

1993: Juan Gonzalez and Ken Griffey Jr. both hit seven home runs out of Camden Yards, with Gonzalez winning the playoff.

1994: Playing at Three Rivers Stadium, Ken Griffey Jr. finally wins a Home Run Derby, with seven.

1995: For the first time, a player wins with fewer home runs than another competitor. At The Ballpark in Arlington, Frank Thomas wins with 15 home runs, beating Albert Belle in a playoff.

1996: Barry Bonds blasts 17 home runs at Veterans Stadium.

1997: At Jacobs Field, once again, the winner is out-hit. Tino Martinez hits 16 home runs overall, beating Larry Walker (who hits 19 total) in the final round.

1998: Ken Griffey Jr. wins his second trophy with 19 home runs, tying the total record set last year by Walker. The American League combines for 53 home runs at Coors Field, the first time the total is over 40. No team will hit more than 50 until 2005.

1999: Mark McGwire blasts 16 home runs, but loses in the second round to Jeromy Burnitz at Fenway Park. Ken Griffey Jr. will win his third and final trophy with 16 home runs.

2000: This was the first of four years that had a match style play in the second round. Ken Griffey Jr. won the second round against Carlos Delgado 3-1, and Sammy Sosa defeats Carl Everett 11-6. Under previous (and current) rules, Everett would advance to the final round. Sosa beats Griffey in the final round 9-2 for the win at Turner Field. He hit 26 overall.

2001: Held at Safeco Field, Jason Giambi leads with 20 home runs, but lose in the second round to Sammy Sosa. Luis Gonzalez wins with 16 total.

2002: Jason Giambi earns his trophy with 24 overall home runs at Miller Park, after defeating Paul Konerko in a swing-off in the second round.

2003: Albert Pujols leads all competitors with 26 home runs in his first Derby, but loses to Garret Anderson 9-8 in the final round. Anderson hits 22 overall at US Cellular Field; Jason Giambi hits 23 but loses to Pujols in the second round.

2004: Abandoning the mini-bracket format, Miguel Tejada dominates the semi-finals and wins the derby with 27 total home runs. Second place goes to Lance Berkman, who after three rounds has 21 at Minute Maid Park.

2005: Bobby Abreu blasts 24 home runs in the first round and smashes the overall record, hitting 41 in three rounds to win at Comerica Park. He sets the overall record, round record, and final round record (11) that year. The NL hits 66 home runs combined.

2006: At PNC Park, Ryan Howard barely beats out David Wright 5-4 in the final round to win with 23 total home runs. This is the closest home run derby in years; Howard and Wright both hit 18 home runs through the first two rounds.

2007: Moving to cold, windy AT&T Park, for the first time since 1999, no player hits 20 home runs in the contest. Vladimir Guerrero wins with 17; Alex Rios hits 19 overall but loses to Guerrero 3-2 in the final round.

2008: In the "goodbye" All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium, Josh Hamilton breaks Abreu's single-round record, with 28 home runs in the first round. He only hits three in the final round, and loses to Justin Morneau (22 overall).

2009: Prince Fielder is the only Derby winner from the NL for the past six years, hitting 23 at Busch Stadium to earn his trophy.

2010: Last year's match at Anaheim Stadium sees David Ortiz hit 32 total for the win. Corey Hart wins the first round with 13, but hits none in the second round and is eliminated by his total.

2011: This year's match involves a three-way swing-off, with previous years' winners and current team captains David Ortiz and Prince Fielder advancing to the second round over Matt Holliday. Neither of them hit double digits total, and Adrian Gonzalez and Robinson Cano enter the final round tied with 20 home runs a piece. Gonzalez hits 11 home runs in the final round, tying the previous final round record held by Bobby Abreu. Cano breaks the record, hitting his 12th home run with only six outs, and wins the Home Run Derby in dramatic fashion. Cano hits 32 total home runs in the Derby.

The Yankees have hit the most home runs in the history of the derby so far, with 99 over only five participants. St. Louis has the most participants to date, with thirteen players combining for 95 home runs. With nine home runs today, David Ortiz now leads in total Derby home runs, with 77. Ken Griffey Jr. leads all players with three total wins in the derby. No other player has two.

Pulling cards of the winners from my extras box, I have 20 of the 28 winners. I'm missing Parker, Strawberry, Dawson, Davis, Sandberg, Ripken, Sosa, and Abreu. Not a bad start to a collection!

No comments:

Post a Comment