Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ESPN carries All Star home run derby, but Celebrity Softball carries the night!

D. Ortiz won the All Star home run derby at Anaheim Stadium on ESPN with a total of 32 homes, the longest at 478 feet last night.

Anaheim, the site of the 2010 MLB All Star Game, has a 70-styles apparently almost symmetrical stadium, with a variety of scenery behind the outfield wall, 400 to dead center, 330 down the lines. It looks relatively like a hitters park now, as some newer asymmetric stadiums have deeper centerfields (even Washington).

But the highlight of the evening was the Celebrity All Star Softball Game (slow pitch), with old greats including Bo Jackson. The tone of the even reminde one of "The Celebrity Apprentice" but I didn't see The Donald in the stands. They set up a temporary fence that appeared to be little more than 220 feet from home plate everywhere. It turned out to be a homer derby. The AL won, and led 5-0 after the first, but nobody seemed to report the final score. The play reminded me of our own backyard softball in the 1950s. In fact, on an Ohio farm, we one time set up a fence and played home run derby that we called “homerama”.

Jeanne Finch, I believe, did all the slow-pitch pitching, and actually hit a home run herself. Several women batted.

In the Army, back in 1969, across the street from the barracks at Fort Eustis, there was a softball field that was about 220 down the lines and 300 to dead center. Soldiers, even slightly built ones, regularly reached and cleared the fences.

MLB offers a video of the event but does not report a final score (not embeddable, MLB is jealous of its copyrights!)

Here’s an account on Examiner.

Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Angels stadium

I believe that Angels stadium is near Disneyland and the Crystal Cathedral. I visited the areas in 1969, 1986, and 2002. The Angels came into existence with the 1961 expansion of the AL.

Here is a Sortball Kingdom YouTube of Rusty Baumgartner hitting 500-foot homers at a home run derby in Anaheim on another field. I didn’t know a softball could be hit so far.

Will Stephen Strasburg be in the stands tonight?

Note: I heard during the All-Star game that the Softball game was actually played Sunday night and taped.

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