What Is The MLB Home Run Derby?

the mlb home run derby

The Home Run Derby is a fixture of the MLB’s All-Star Weekend, featuring baseball’s best sluggers showcasing their skills. But how did this event come to be? Read on to learn about Major League Baseball’s Home Run Derby.


History

The Home Run Derby was first held in 1960 as a TV show featuring Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays. The original contest featured nine innings, with each batter allotted three outs per inning. An out was constituted as any swing of the bat that did not result in a home run.

The original Home Run Derby was a small production to showcase the best hitters in baseball. Over time, the event has adapted and seen multiple rule changes. However, the overall idea has remained the same: batters face off in a home run hitting showdown.

In the Modern Era, the Home Run Derby is played the day before the MLB All-Star game. It is a part of All-Star Weekend and is held in the same stadium as the annual All-Star Game. 

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. holds the record for the most home runs in a single round of the Home Run Derby, with 40. Joc Pederson is just behind him, with 39 home runs in his best round. Both of these sluggers set their records in 2019.

Guerrero Jr. also holds the record for the most home runs in a single Home Run Derby, including all rounds in the Derby. In the 2019 Home Run Derby, Guerrero managed to hit 91 home runs.

Pete Alonso has the most all-time Home Run Derby home runs, with 131. This feat is especially impressive considering that Alonso has only competed in two Home Run Derbies in 2019 and 2021.

No one team has dominated the Home Run Derby historically. However, the Yankees lead in Home Run Derby wins with four. Nineteen different MLB teams have won the Home Run Derby since its founding. 

Scoring and Format

home run derby scoring and format

The Home Run Derby pits eight of the league’s top sluggers against one another in head-to-head matchups. The players are seeded based on how many home runs they have on the season, with the player with the most home runs matched up against the person with the fewest home runs. 

There are three rounds in the Home Run Derby.Half of the contestants are eliminated in each round as they compete in head-to-head matchups. Batters pick who will throw their pitches; the pitches are thrown with the intention of giving the batter a good chance to hit home runs.

Purpose

The Home Run Derby is a part of the All-Star Weekend: a fun, competitive weekend of contests between the leagues’ best. The Home Run Derby is a chance for fans to see the stars of the game all on one field together, a rare occurrence. The Home Run Derby also gives baseball’s power hitters a platform to showcase their skills.