Home runs, donations pick up speed
For a while there, it wasn't looking good for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
State Farm, the sponsor of Monday's Home Run Derby, has pledged to donate $3,000 for each home run a contestant hits with one to eight outs. With nine outs, the pitchers throw gold baseballs, and State Farm and MLB together have pledged $17,000 for each "Gold Ball" home runs.
The first two hitters, Chris Young and Vernon Wells, combined for just three long balls.
Then Corey Hart stepped to the plate.
After a ground ball for one out, Hart, who plays right field for the Milwaukee Brewers, blasted five straight home runs and finished the first round with 13, including one gold ball.
Matt Holliday added four gold ball home runs to finish with five total homers, and Hanley Ramirez hit two gold balls out of the park.
Hart (13 home runs), Ramirez (nine), David Ortiz (eight) and Miguel Cabrera (seven) advanced to the second round.
"It's a special opportunity for us to indirectly give back," Young said before the event. "The fact that Major League Baseball takes it to that and allows you to do this for a public cause is amazing."
At the end of the first round, total donations stood at $245,000. Additionally, State Farm will donate $50,000 to one Orange County Boys and Girls Club, depending on which player comes out victorious.
|Player||Rd 1||Rd 2||Final||Total||Long||Season|
|Chris Young , Ari||1||410||15|
|Vernon Wells, Tor||2||426||19|
|Corey Hart, Mil||13||464||21|
|Nick Swisher, NYY||4||440||15|
|Matt Holliday, StL||5||497||16|
|David Ortiz, Bos||8||440||18|
|Hanley Ramirez, Fla||9||455||13|
|Miguel Cabrera, Det||7||476||22|
-- Laura Myers