No fence can hold 'em: Top five HR Derby moments of all time
JUL 14, 2014 4:00p ET
There have many memorable Home Run Derby moments since the first one at the Metrodome in 1985. Josh Hamilton's 28-homer first round in 2008 left us all exhausted. Bobby Abreu socked 41 dingers to win the 2005 Derby, a record that still stands. Yoenis Cespedes' national coming-out party came in the form of his 32 homers last year to win the title.
But for all these times when our collective jaws hit the ground in amazement, there are some that stand out above the rest. Let's look back at five in particular that we won't forget any time soon.
5. Bryce Harper gets beaned by his own dad
By now, entering its 30th year, the Derby can, at times, feel so scripted and homogenized that it's nice to see any kind of impromptu moment organically happen within the event's framework. Assuming Harper's dad didn't intentionally bean his son last July, this one sure qualifiies.
4. Barry Bonds defeats Mark McGwire head-to-head
Bonds was just solidifying his place as a Bay Area baseball legend, while Big Mac's reign as Oakland's lone remaining Bash Brother was slowly coming to an end. (McGwire would be traded to St. Louis the following year.) But when the two went head-to-head in the finals of the 1996 Home Run Derby at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, it was pure star power on display. Bonds went through nine outs without a homer ... before hitting three in a row to take the crown, 3-2, in the finals.
3. Cal Ripken Jr. sets a Derby record with 12 homers
After Ryne Sandberg won the 1990 Home Run Derby at Wrigley Field with a measly three homers — and five out of eight players were shut out — one couldn't be blamed if they figured that maybe, just maybe, this Home Run Derby thing had run its course after six go-arounds. Ripken's record-smashing 12 bombs the following season arguably gave the event the lasting popular momentum it harnesses to this day.
2. 18-year-old Sean Moe goes over the fence to rob Ryne Sandberg of a home run
The video has not been seen in nearly 30 years, since the 1985 Home Run Derby was not televised, but Moe's best Kirby Puckett impression helped lead the American League to a win in the first Derby.
1. Ken Griffey Jr. hits the warehouse
All the talk before the 1993 Derby was whether any slugger could hit the old B&O Warehouse just beyond the right-field confines of Camden Yards. The Kid, who would participate in the Home Run Derby a record eight times, finally gave everyone what they came to see.