Monday, July 13, 2009

Triple-A All Star Game Home Run Derby

The Triple-A All Star game is at PGE Park this week, and my son has been asked to do some catching duties during the festivities. During the game Wednesday he will be warming up the pitchers in the bullpen. Tonight he caught during the Home Run Derby.

It was really a fun event. There were two high schoolers in the competition, who qualified by winning a local home run competition. One of them, Kevin Taylor from Sunset, is a great kid and a great hitter - my son has played on teams with and against him for years.

Kevin Taylor went first. Mind you, he is a just graduated high school senior, trying to hit home runs in front of about 10,000 fans, and competing against the best home run hitters in Triple-A ball.

The picture at the right is Kevin batting with my son catching.

All Kevin did was hit eight balls over the fence in the first round. The six professionals went next - the best one of them hit seven! He qualified for the next round, which was the top four. He ended up narrowly missing out on making it to the final two.

My son caught for six batters in the first and second rounds, and then the whole final. There were some great moments. In the final, the big Yankee slugger Shelly Duncan hit a high arching bomb that would have been his second homer, but the ump called it foul.

The picture to the right is my son calling the ball fair, as Shelley Duncan looks back to question the call.

No question about it, says son. Fair ball. The other finalist was Portland Beaver Chad Huffman. My son figured Shelley Duncan just got homered on the call.

No matter, it's just an exhibition anyway. Huffman was a great guy too. It was good to have a local winner.

Every time Shelley Duncan came to the plate, the crowd would boo - Lots of Yankee haters in Portland, I guess!

Here's the winner, Chad Huffman, just about to swing at the winning shot. He had some impressive bombs out to left field, onto 18th street. One even hit the Max train!


The players were terrific. They treated my son very well, and went out of they way to make him a part of things.

Here's a shot of Jeff commiserating with Duncan afterwards, discussing the bad call as some of the other all-stars who weren't in the home run derby hang out.

Pretty cool night for a soon-to-be college catcher, getting to rub it around with the soon-to-be major leaguers.

And on Wednesday he'll be catching the pitchers in the bullpen. Fun stuff.


coupons said...

Great kid and great hitter it was really very funny event.

Anonymous said...

Pretty cool for your son to get to do that. He's a good looking kid.

Anonymous said...

I was there, Kevin was awesome. Banking one of the MAC balcony was something I never thought I'd see.

Anonymous said...

love it. mixing it up with future MLB players and who knows, possible HOF players. my only baseball claim to fame was playing against Darryl Strawberry in high school.

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