Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Home Run Derby, pro and con
The old Home Run Derby show was a treat for those of us who grew up in the late 1950s and early 1960s because we were able to see our baseball heroes on television. In those days, TV coverage of baseball was limited, especially here on the West Coast. The only time we were able to see the Dodgers on the tube was when they played the Giants in San Francisco.
So, Home Run Derby gave us a treat, a close-up look at 19 of that era's greatest players including Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Rocky Colovito, Henry Aaron and Duke Snider, players who we mostly only got to see pictures of in magazines or a newspaper.
Now, of course, ESPN televises reruns of Home Run Derby, which was held at Wrigley Field, a minor league park in those days, in South-Central Los Angeles.


add Home Run Derby: There was something off-kilter about this year's Derby winner, David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox. Big Papi, as he's called, blasted out one Big Fly after another in the contest held Monday afternoon at Angel Stadium, site of tonight's 81st All-Star Game. Each of his mighty blasts was a reminder that Ortiz is a symbol of baseball's steroid era.
The players of the original Home Run Derby had just as much power as Ortiz, could hit the ball farther and all were clean. The old TV show is a reflection of how baseball once was and will never be again.

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