Every mid summer since 1933, Major League Baseball has held their annual All-Star game. The All-Star game is an exciting event because the winning league team receives the home field advantage in the World Series! Even though this makes the game more meaningful, it is not very popular due to the fact that many fans, players, and managers believe the home field advantage in the World Series should be given to the team with the best regular season record. Even though the All-Star game is up for debate, there is one thing that most look forward to - the Home Run Derby.
The Home Run Derby has been a well-known favorite since it’s start in 1985. What better way to showcase the best-of-the-best than to have a contest with the best sluggers in the business?
In the early years, the derby was constructed into two innings with 5 outs a piece. The player with the most home runs after two innings was the winner. The original format was used until 2000. At the beginning of the new millennium, a second round rule change was made so that it became a head to head competition where the two top home run hitters competed for the title. Since then, the rules seem to change on a regular basis. One of the biggest rule changes was the addition of the golden ball. If a golden ball, now known as a flex ball, was hit out of the park sponsors would donate to a specific charity.
Since the derby was first televised in 1993, it has been known to be one of the most watched programs on TV. This drives some of the best home run hitters to strive to participate in the event. The likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr. and so many more greats have been crowned champions of baseball’s fan favorite event.
Here at Shively Sporting Goods, we take pride in being Louisville’s local sports store. We hope one day we can say we supplied a future Home Run Derby Champ with his lucky bat as a Little Leaguer. We can dream can’t we? We hope you all enjoyed this year’s Home Run Derby, and a big congratulations to this year’s champion, Giancarlo Stanton!