The Home Run Derby is an annual home run hitting contest in Major League Baseball (MLB) customarily held the day before the MLB All-Star Game….which places the contest on a Monday in July. Since the inaugural derby in 1985, the event has seen several rule changes, evolving from a short outs-based competition, to multiple rounds, and eventually a bracket-style timed event.
The format has varied since the Home Run Derby started in 1985…..whereby In the early years of the Home Run Derby…. 4-10 players from both the AL and NL were selected to participate….with each player being given 2 “innings” to hit as many home runs as possible before reaching 5 outs. For the derby, an out is defined as any swing that is not a home run. The winner of the contest was the player with the most total home runs in the two innings.
ESPN’s Chris Berman and George Grande provide wonderful insight into the Home Run Derby at the Astrodome in Houston…..with great interviews with Blue Jays OF Jesse Barfield…..Astros 1B Glen Davis….and Mets OF Daryl Strawberry.