Calling all baseball lovers! It’s officially time for the best two days of the summer – the MLB Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.
Held the day prior to the Midsummer Classic, the MLB Home Run Derby is an annual competition featuring baseball’s best power hitters.
The yearly summer slugfest was inspired by a 1960s TV show called Home Run Derby, featuring baseball legends Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays. Fast forward six decades, and the event today showcases eight of the league’s best hitters in a single elimination bracket.
Who will we see take home the title this year? Is a three-peat in the cards for New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso?
Before the derby begins, let’s take a look at past champions and notable records.
When was the first MLB Home Run Derby?
The first MLB Home Run Derby took place in 1985, which means this year’s competition will be the 37th of its kind.
The event took place at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn. in 1985, where seven-time All-Star Dave Parker of the Cincinnati Reds took home the crown. Parker won the inaugural Home Run Derby with six homers against four future Hall-of-Famers, including Jim Rice, Eddie Murray, Carlton Fisk and Ryne Sandberg.
Where have past MLB Home Run Derbies taken place?
Here are past venues of the annual slugfest:
1985: H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.
1986: Astrodome in Houston, Texas
1987: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.
1988: Canceled due to rain
1989: Anaheim Stadium in Anaheim, Calif.
1990: Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill.
1991: SkyDome in Toronto, Ontario
1992: Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, Calif.
1993: Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Md.
1994: Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Penn.
1995: The Ballpark at Arlington in Arlington, Texas
1996: Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Penn.
1997: Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio
1998: Coors Field in Denver, Colo.
1999: Fenway Park in Boston, Mass.
2000: Turner Field in Atlanta, Ga.
2001: Safeco Field in Seattle, Wash.
2002: Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wis.
2003: U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Ill.
2004: Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas
2005: Comerica Park in Detroit, Mich.
2006: PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Penn.
2007: AT&T Park in San Francisco, Calif.
2008: Yankee Stadium in New York, N.Y.
2009: Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo.
2010: Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, Calif.
2011: Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.
2012: Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
2013: Citi Field in New York, N.Y.
2014: Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn.
2015: Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio
2016: Petco Park in San Diego, Calif.
2017: Marlins Park in Miami, Fla.
2018: Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
2019: Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio
2020: Canceled due to COVID-19 (scheduled to be at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.)
2021: Coors Field in Denver, Colo.
2022: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif.
Who are some past champions of Home Run Derbies?
Here’s a look at the last five Home Run Derby winners:
2021– Pete Alonso, New York Mets
This Home Run Derby was a long time coming, considering the event got canceled in 2020 due to the global pandemic. Alonso won the 2021 event for the second time in a row, hitting 23-22 in the final. After the derby, Alonso proclaimed himself “the best power hitter on the planet.”
2019 – Pete Alonso, New York Mets
During the 2019 Home Run Derby, Alonso won the event 23-22 in the final and became the second ever rookie to win the competition. He also became the first Met to win outright, after Darryl Strawberry tied in 1986.
2018 – Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
During the 2018 slugfest, the Nationals’ Bryce Harper won 19-18. He was the previous runner-up during the 2013 competition.
2017 – Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
The 2017 Home Run Derby consisted of Aaron Judge winning 11-10 and becoming the first rookie to win the event outright.
2016 – Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton won 20-13 at the 2016 slugfest and set a record for the most home runs in a derby competition with 61.
How can I watch this year’s Home Run Derby
You can watch this year’s Home Run Derby on the MLB Network or ESPN. The event starts at 8 p.m. ET. on Monday, July 18.