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The Home Run Derby is an event played prior to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game. It is a contest among the top home run hitters in Major League Baseball to determine who can hit the most home runs. The event is currently sponsored by State Farm Insurance. Former sponsors have included Century 21 Real Estate and Service Merchandise.

Overview

Eight players, who are generally on the All-Star Game rosters (though this is not necessitated by rule), are selected for the Home Run Derby and compete in a traditional playoff system where the players with the most home runs advance to the next round. Each player gets ten "outs" per round, where an out is defined as any swing that is not a home run in this case. Should a tie exist between players at the end of any round, there will be a five swing swing-off to determine who will advance. Until 2006, the home run count was reset after each round. However, a rule change was made for the 2006 Home Run Derby which causes the home run count for the four players advancing to the second round to carry over. The home run count for the final round is still reset to zero.

Prior to 1991, the Home Run Derby was structured as a two-inning event with each player receiving five outs per inning which allowed for the possibility of ties.

In 2000, a match play format was instituted for the second round. The player with the most home runs in the first round faced the player with the least among the four qualifying players, as did the players with the second and third-most totals. The contestant who won each matchup advanced to the finals. This format was discontinued after the 2003 Derby.

For the most part, the field of players selected consists of four American League players and four National League players. The first Derby in 1985 featured five from each league, and the Derbies in 1986 and 1987 each featured three and two players from each league, respectively. In 1996, the field was again expanded to ten players, five from each league, though in 1997, the American League had six contestants to the NL's four. In 2000, the field reverted to the four-player-per-league format, which it has remained ever since. The only exception has been in 2005, when Major League Baseball chose to change the look of the contest, still having eight players, but with the players representing their home countries rather than their respective leagues. This was commonly looked upon as a lead-in to the World Baseball Classic which was played in March 2006. Bobby Abreu, representing Venezuela, won the first International Derby with a record 41 home runs, including a then-record 24 in the first round, broken only by Josh Hamilton with 28 home runs in 2008. In 2006, the selection of four players from each league to participate in the Derby was resumed.

The 2008 Home Run Derby, the 23rd installment, took place in The Bronx's Yankee Stadium on July 14. It was the first and last Home Run Derby at the stadium. The 2009 event will be held at Busch Stadium III in St. Louis, Missouri on July 13 of said year, while the 2010 event will be in Anaheim, California at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

During the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Home Run Derbies, the Golden Ball was used once a player reaches nine outs. If a batter hit a home run using the golden ball, Century 21 Real Estate and Major League Baseball would donate $21,000 per home run to charity. In both 2005 and 2006, $294,000 was raised for charity, equaling 14 golden ball home runs per year. State Farm continued this in 2007 as they designated $17,000 per home run (one dollar for each of State Farm's agencies), a reduction of $4,000, to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. In the 2007 event, fifteen golden balls were hit for a donation of $255,000, $39,000 less than the two previous years even though one more home run was hit.

Television and radio coverage

The derby was first nationally televised by ESPN in 1993 on a same-day delayed basis. The first live telecast came in 1998. The event begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time. Although two hours are devoted to the telecast, it is not uncommon for the program to run over schedule. The 2006 and 2007 events, for example, lasted nearly three hours.

ESPN Radio also carries the event annually.

Home Run Derby champions

Year Player Team Home runs Venue
2008 Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins 22 Yankee Stadium, New York
2007 Vladimir Guerrero Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 17 AT&T Park, San Francisco
2006 Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies 23 PNC Park, Pittsburgh
2005 Bobby Abreu Philadelphia Phillies 41 Comerica Park, Detroit
2004 Miguel Tejada Baltimore Orioles 27 Minute Maid Park, Houston
2003 Garret Anderson Anaheim Angels 22 U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
2002 Jason Giambi New York Yankees 24 Miller Park, Milwaukee
2001 Luis Gonzalez Arizona Diamondbacks 16 Safeco Field, Seattle
2000 Sammy Sosa Chicago Cubs 26 Turner Field, Atlanta
1999 Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle Mariners 16 Fenway Park, Boston
1998 Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle Mariners 19 Coors Field, Denver
1997 Tino Martinez New York Yankees 16 Jacobs Field, Cleveland
1996 Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants 17 Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia
1995 Frank Thomas Chicago White Sox 15 The Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington, Texas
1994 Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle Mariners 7 Three Rivers Stadium, PittsburghI
1993 Juan González Texas Rangers 7 Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore
1992 Mark McGwire Oakland Athletics 12 Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego
1991 Cal Ripken, Jr. Baltimore Orioles 12 SkyDome, Toronto
1990 Ryne Sandberg Chicago Cubs 3 Wrigley Field, Chicago
1989 Eric Davis Cincinnati Reds 3 Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim
1988 Canceled due to rain Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati
1987 Andre Dawson Chicago Cubs 4 Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland
1986 Wally Joyner California Angels 4 Astrodome, Houston
Darryl Strawberry New York Mets
1985 Dave Parker Cincinnati Reds 6 Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis

Complete scoreboard

The 1980s

1985

The Metrodome, Minneapolis—A.L. 17, N.L. 16
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Jim Rice Boston 4
Eddie Murray Baltimore 4
Carlton Fisk Chicago 4
Tom Brunansky Minnesota 4
Cal Ripken, Jr. Baltimore 1
National League
Dave Parker Cincinnati 6
Dale Murphy Atlanta 4
Steve Garvey San Diego 2
Ryne Sandberg Chicago 2
Jack Clark St. Louis 2

1986

Astrodome, Houston—N.L. 8, A.L. 7
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Wally Joyner California 4
Jesse Barfield Toronto 2
José Canseco Oakland 1
National League
Darryl Strawberry New York 4
Dave Parker Cincinnati 3
Hubie Brooks Montreal 1

1987

The Coliseum, Oakland—N.L. 6, A.L. 2
Player Team Home Runs
American League
George Bell Toronto 1
Mark McGwire Oakland 1
National League
Andre Dawson Chicago 4
Ozzie Virgil, Jr. Atlanta 2

1988

Canceled due to rain.

1989

Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim—N.L. 9, A.L. 5
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Rubén Sierra Texas 3
Mickey Tettleton Detroit 1
Bo Jackson Kansas City 1
Gary Gaetti Minnesota 0
National League
Eric Davis Cincinnati 3
Glenn Davis Houston 2
Howard Johnson New York 2
Kevin Mitchell San Francisco 2

The 1990s

1990

Wrigley Field, Chicago—N.L. 4, A.L. 1
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Mark McGwire Oakland 1
Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle 0
José Canseco Oakland 0
Cecil Fielder Detroit 0
National League
Ryne Sandberg Chicago 3
Matt Williams San Francisco 1
Bobby Bonilla Pittsburgh 0
Darryl Strawberry New York 0

1991

SkyDome, Toronto—A.L. 20, N.L. 7
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Cal Ripken, Jr. Baltimore 12
Cecil Fielder Detroit 4
Joe Carter Toronto 2
Danny Tartabull Kansas City 2
National League
Paul O'Neill Cincinnati 5
George Bell Chicago 2
Chris Sabo Cincinnati 0
Howard Johnson New York 0

1992

Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego—A.L. 27, N.L. 13
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Mark McGwire Oakland 12
Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle 7
Joe Carter Toronto 4
Cal Ripken, Jr. Baltimore 4
National League
Larry Walker Montreal 4
Gary Sheffield San Diego 4
Fred McGriff San Diego 3
Barry Bonds Pittsburgh 2

1993

Camden Yards, Baltimore—A.L. 20, N.L. 12
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Juan González Texas 7
Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle 7 *
Cecil Fielder Detroit 4
Albert Belle Cleveland 3
National League
Barry Bonds San Francisco 5
Bobby Bonilla New York 5
David Justice Atlanta 2
Mike Piazza Los Angeles 0

* Lost in playoff to Gonzalez

1994

Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh—A.L. 17, N.L. 11
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle 7
Rubén Sierra Oakland 4
Frank Thomas Chicago 4
Albert Belle Cleveland 2
National League
Fred McGriff Atlanta 5
Jeff Bagwell Houston 3
Dante Bichette Colorado 3
Mike Piazza Los Angeles 0

1995

The Ballpark in Arlington, Arlington—A.L. 40, N.L. 12
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Frank Thomas Chicago 15 *
Albert Belle Cleveland 16
Mo Vaughn Boston 6
Manny Ramírez Cleveland 3
National League
Ron Gant Cincinnati 3
Sammy Sosa Chicago 2
Reggie Sanders Cincinnati 2
Raúl Mondesí Los Angeles 2

* Beat Belle in finals

1996

Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia—A.L. 36, N.L. 23
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Mark McGwire Oakland 15
Brady Anderson Baltimore 11
Jay Buhner Seattle 8
Joe Carter Toronto 2
Greg Vaughn Milwaukee 0
National League
Barry Bonds San Francisco 17
Henry Rodríguez Montreal 3
Jeff Bagwell Houston 2
Ellis Burks Colorado 1
Gary Sheffield Florida 0

1997

Jacobs Field, Cleveland—A.L. 32, N.L. 29
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Tino Martinez New York 16 *
Mark McGwire Oakland 7
Brady Anderson Baltimore 4
Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle 3
Nomar Garciaparra Boston 0
Jim Thome Cleveland 0
National League
Larry Walker Colorado 19
Jeff Bagwell Houston 5
Chipper Jones Atlanta 3
Ray Lankford St. Louis 2

* Beat Walker in finals

1998

Coors Field, Denver—A.L. 53, N.L. 29
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle 19
Rafael Palmeiro Baltimore 10
Jim Thome Cleveland 17
Alex Rodriguez Seattle 5
Damion Easley Detroit 2
National League
Vinny Castilla Colorado 12
Moisés Alou Houston 7
Javy López Atlanta 5
Mark McGwire St. Louis 4
Chipper Jones Atlanta 1

1999

Fenway Park, Boston—N.L. 39, A.L. 23
Player Team Home Runs
American League
Ken Griffey, Jr. Seattle 16
Nomar Garciaparra Boston 2
B.J. Surhoff Baltimore 2
Shawn Green Toronto 2
John Jaha Oakland 1
National League
Jeromy Burnitz Milwaukee 14
Mark McGwire St. Louis 16 *
Jeff Bagwell Houston 6
Larry Walker Colorado 2
Sammy Sosa Chicago 1

* Lost to Burnitz in round 2

The 2000s

2000

Turner Field, Atlanta—N.L. 41, A.L. 41
Player Team Round 1 Semis Finals Total
Template:Player Chicago (N) 6 11 9 26
Template:Player Cincinnati 6 3 2 11
Template:Player Boston 6 6 12
Template:Player Toronto 5 1 6
Template:Player Seattle 2 2
Template:Player Atlanta 2 2
Template:Player Montreal 2 2
Template:Player Texas 1 1
  Semifinals Finals
                 
1  Ken Griffey, Jr. 3  
4  Carlos Delgado 1  
    1  Ken Griffey, Jr. 2
  3  Sammy Sosa 9
2  Carl Everett 6
3  Sammy Sosa 11  

2001

Safeco Field, Seattle—N.L. 41, A.L. 25
Player Team Round 1 Semis Finals Totals
Template:Player Diamondbacks 5 5 6 16
Template:Player Cubs 3 8 2 13
Template:Player A's 14 6 20
Template:Player Giants 7 3 10
Template:Player Mariners 3 3
Template:Player Rockies 2 2
Template:Player Rangers 2 2
Template:Player Angels 0 0
  Semifinals Finals
                 
1  Jason Giambi 6  
4  Sammy Sosa 8  
    4  Sammy Sosa 2
  3  Luis Gonzalez 6
2  Barry Bonds 3
3  Luis Gonzalez 5  

2002

Miller Park, Milwaukee—A.L. 42, N.L. 31
Player Team Round 1 Semis Finals Totals
Template:Player Yankees 11 6 7 24
Template:Player Cubs 12 5 1 18
Template:Player White Sox 6 6 12
Template:Player Brewers 6 4 10
Template:Player Twins 3 3
Template:Player Giants 2 2
Template:Player Rangers 2 2
Template:Player Astros 1 1
  Semifinals Finals
                 
1  Sammy Sosa 5  
4  Richie Sexson 4  
    1  Jason Giambi 7
  2  Sammy Sosa 1
2  Jason Giambi 7
3  Paul Konerko 6  
  • Giambi defeated Konerko in a blast off, similar to penalty shots

2003

U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago—A.L. 47, N.L. 39
Player Team Round 1 Semis Finals Totals
Template:Player Angels 7 6 9 22
Template:Player Cardinals 4 14 8 26
Template:Player Yankees 12 11 23
Template:Player Cardinals 4 4 8
Template:Player Braves 4 4
Template:Player Blue Jays 2 2
Template:Player Brewers 1 1
Template:Player Mariners 0 0
  Semifinals Finals
                 
1  Jason Giambi 11  
4  Albert Pujols 14  
    4  Albert Pujols 8
  2  Garret Anderson 9
2  Garret Anderson 6
3  Jim Edmonds 4  

2004

Minute Maid Park, Houston—A.L. 47, N.L. 41
Player Team Round 1 Semis Finals Total
Template:Player Baltimore 7 15 5 27
Template:Player Houston 7 10 4 21
Template:Player Baltimore 9 5 14
Template:Player San Francisco 8 3 11
Template:Player Chicago (N) 5 5
Template:Player Philadelphia 4 4
Template:Player Texas 3 3
Template:Player Boston 3 3

2005

Comerica Park, Detroit—N.L. 66, A.L. 42
Player Team Round 1 Semis Finals Totals
Template:Player Philadelphia 24 6 11 41
Template:Player Detroit 7 8 5 20
Template:Player Milwaukee 11 4 15
Template:Player Boston 17 3 20
Template:Player Los Angeles (NL) 5 5
Template:Player Atlanta 5 5
Template:Player Texas 2 2
Template:Player Pittsburgh 0 0

2006

PNC Park, Pittsburgh—N.L. 62, A.L. 24
Player Team Round 1 Round 2 Subtotal Finals Total
Template:Player Philadelphia 8 10 18 5 23
Template:Player New York (NL) 16 2 18 4 22
Template:Player Florida 9 6 15 15
Template:Player Boston 10 3 13 13
Template:Player Chicago (AL) 7 7
Template:Player Houston 3 3
Template:Player Baltimore 3 3
Template:Player Toronto 1 1

2007

AT&T Park, San Francisco—A.L. 42, N.L. 32
Player Team Round 1 Round 2 Subtotal Finals Total
Template:Player Los Angeles (AL) 5 9 14 3 a 17
Template:Player Toronto 5 12 17 2 19
Template:Player Colorado 5 8 13 13
Template:Player St. Louis 4 b 9 13 13
Template:Player Minnesota 4 4 4
Template:Player Milwaukee 3 3 3
Template:Player Philadelphia 3 3 3
Template:Player Detroit 2 2 2

↑a Recorded only seven of ten outs before hitting winning home run.
↑b Advanced after defeating Morneau 2-1 in a swing-off.

2008

Yankee Stadium, New York—A.L. 66, N.L. 39
Player Team Round 1 Round 2 Subtotal Finals Total
Template:Player Minnesota 8 9 17 5 22
Template:Player Texas 28a 4b 32 3 35
Template:Player Houston 8 6 14 14
Template:Player Milwaukee 7 7 14 14
Template:Player Florida 6 6 6
Template:Player Cleveland 6 6 6
Template:Player Philadelphia 5 5 5
Template:Player Tampa Bay 3 3 3

Notes:
↑a New single round record.
↑b Voluntarily ended round with four outs
10 Home Runs were hit while the Gold Ball (special balls used when the batters have nine outs) was in play, earning $170,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Statistics by team

Team Wins Participants Home Runs
Seattle 3 12 77
Chicago (NL) 3 10 76
Los Angeles (AL) 3 4 43
Baltimore 2 11 92
Cincinnati 2 8 36
Philadelphia 2 5 76
New York (AL) 2 3 64
Oakland 1 11 62
Texas 1 8 55
San Francisco 1 7 48
New York (NL) 1 6 33
Chicago (AL) 1 5 42
Minnesota 1 5 33
Arizona 1 1 16
Atlanta 0 10 31
Toronto 0 10 41
Houston 0 10 64
Boston 0 8 60
Colorado 0 7 52
Detroit 0 7 33
St. Louis 0 7 71
Cleveland 0 6 37
Milwaukee 0 7 57
Los Angeles (NL) 0 4 7
Montreal/Washington 0 4 10
Pittsburgh 0 3 2
San Diego 0 3 9
Florida 0 3 21
Kansas City 0 2 3
Tampa Bay 0 1 3


Most home runs in a single round (of ten outs)

Player Year #
1 Josh Hamilton 2008 28
2 Bobby Abreu 2005 24
3 David Ortiz 2005 17
4 David Wright 2006 16
5 Miguel Tejada 2004 15
6 Jason Giambi 2001 14
6 Albert Pujols 2003 14
8 Mark McGwire 1999 13
9 Cal Ripken Jr. 1991 12
9 Mark McGwire 1992 12
9 Sammy Sosa 2002 12
9 Jason Giambi 2003 12
9 Alex Ríos 2007 12

Most home runs in the entire tournament (Excluding Swingoff Playoffs)

  1. Bobby Abreu (2005) - 41
  2. Josh Hamilton (2008) - 35
  3. Miguel Tejada (2004) - 27
  4. Sammy Sosa (2000) Albert Pujols (2003) - 26
  5. Jason Giambi (2002) - 24
  6. Ryan Howard (2006), Jason Giambi (2003) - 23
  7. David Wright (2006), Garrett Anderson (2003), Justin Morneau (2008) - 22
  8. Lance Berkman (2004) - 21
  9. David Ortiz (2005), Iván Rodríguez (2005), Jason Giambi (2001) - 20
  10. Ken Griffey, Jr. (1998), Larry Walker (1997), Alex Rios (2007) - 19
  11. Sammy Sosa (2002) - 18
  12. Jim Thome (1998), Barry Bonds (1996), Vladimir Guerrero (2007) - 17
  13. Luis Gonzalez (2001), Ken Griffey, Jr. (1999), Mark McGwire (1999), Tino Martinez (1997), Albert Belle (1995) - 16
  14. Miguel Cabrera(2006), Carlos Lee (2005), Mark McGwire (1996), Frank Thomas (1995) - 15
  15. Rafael Palmeiro (2004), Jeromy Burnitz (1999), Lance Berkman (2008), Ryan Braun (2008) - 14
  16. David Ortiz (2006), Sammy Sosa (2001), Matt Holliday (2007), Albert Pujols (2007) - 13
  17. Paul Konerko (2002), Carl Everett (2000), Vinny Castilla (1998), Mark McGwire (1992), Cal Ripken Jr. (1991) - 12
  18. Barry Bonds (2004), Ken Griffey, Jr. (2000), Brady Anderson (1996) - 11
  19. Rafael Palmeiro (1998), Barry Bonds (2001), Richie Sexson (2002), Jim Edmonds (2003) - 10

Most home runs all time (Excluding Swingoff Playoffs)

  1. Ken Griffey, Jr. - 70
  2. Jason Giambi - 67
  3. Sammy Sosa - 65
  4. Mark McGwire - 56
  5. David Ortiz - 54
  6. Barry Bonds - 47
  7. Bobby Abreu - 41
  8. Albert Pujols - 39
  9. Lance Berkman - 39
  10. Josh Hamilton - 35

External links

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