The fellas are slugging for $1 million tonight. The action gets underway on ESPN at 7 p.m. CST, but you’re going to want to tune in to the “Statcast broadcast,” anchored by our own Jason Benetti, on ESPN2.
No White Sox, so, whatever.
But as we lament a lack of Eloy in this year’s Derby (and INK him in for 2020), by complete and utter lack of demand, here’s an encore presentation of:
A brief history of White Sox in the Home Run Derby
The Derby started back up in 1985, but it was 1994 before a White Sox player participated. Frank Thomas had four homers at Three Rivers Stadium in 1994, good for a tie for second behind AL winner and overall champion Ken Griffey, Jr.
The next year, Thomas took home the only White Sox Home Run Derby title, hitting 15 homers. Thomas and still-Clevelander clubber Albert Belle left the field in the dust, with Belle hitting 16 homers but losing to Thomas in the finals. None of the other six participants hit more than six.
During the Miller Park Home Run Derby in 2002, Paul Konerko hit six homers in both the first round and semis, where he lost 7-6 to eventual champion Jason Giambi. PK lost in something called a “swing-off” after tying Giambi, 6-6, during their matchup proper. No word on whether there was a trough of creatine in front of Giambi’s locker in Milwaukee that he could gobble from between rounds, but yeah, there probably was.
Jermaine Dye hit seven total homers at the 2006 battle at PNC Park, but he could only finish fifth — not good enough to get past the first round.
Finally, in 2016 at Petco Park, Home Run Derby legend Todd Frazier repped the White Sox all the way into the finals as the “second seed” for the competition. Flava upended Carlos González, 13-12, in a robust first round. He eked out another close win in the next round, 16-15, over ex-Reds teammate Adam Duvall. But then, Frazier ran into the blitzkrieg that was Giancarlo Stanton in 2016. Stanton hit 61 homers in his three rounds, which was capped by a 20-13 win over Frazier for the title. Stanton’s 61 homers outpaced the prior single-Derby mark by 20 (Bobby Abreu, 41, 2005) and remains the all-time record.
Anyway, that’s all I got on the Derby.
Tune in tomorrow for a thread on the All-Star Game.