Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers have been named captains of the American League and National League squads for the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby. Cano is the defending champion, having won the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby in Phoenix, while Kemp is the defending N.L. home run leader. The 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby will take place on Monday, July 9th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
This year’s State Farm Home Run Derby will continue to follow the format first introduced in 2011, featuring team competition between the A.L. and N.L. Last year, the A.L. defeated the N.L. by a final tally of 76-19. Kemp and Cano will each determine the other three participants on their teams and will personally extend the invitations. Each of the captains will select a charity of their choice which they will be hitting for during the Derby.
State Farm and Major League Baseball will donate a significant amount of money for charity through the event. The donations will be made as follows: • $150,000 will be awarded to the winning captain’s charity in his name • $100,000 will be awarded to Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) in the name of the winning captain • $25,000 will be awarded to the charity of the captain of the losing team in his name • The remainder will be donated to BGCA on behalf of State Farm and MLB
The total amount of money distributed will be determined by the home runs hit during the competition. State Farm and MLB will combine to donate $18,000 for every home run hit with a Gold Ball during the competition. The dollar figure was selected to coincide with the number of State Farm agents throughout the U.S. and Canada. State Farm will also give $3,000 for every non-Gold Ball hit during the Derby. Both Cano and Kemp have been supporters of BGCA, including participation in public service announcements.
In his first career Home Run Derby appearance last year, Cano set a new final round record with 12 home runs, besting the previous record of 11 set by Bobby Abreu (2005), David Ortiz (2010) and Adrian Gonzalez earlier in last year’s final. Cano, who joins Ryne Sandberg (1990) as the only second basemen to win a State Farm Home Run Derby, amassed 32 total home runs during the competition, placing him 13th on the all-time Derby list. In his eight seasons with the Yankees, Cano has posted three seasons of at least 20 home runs, including a career-high 29 home runs in 2010 and 28 in 2011. In 2012, Cano has hit eight home runs, giving him a total of 152 career home runs in the Majors.
Kemp, who led the N.L. with 39 home runs last season, returns for his second Derby appearance. The 2011 N.L. All-Star is just the fifth Dodger to participate in the Derby along with Steve Garvey (1985), Mike Piazza (1993-94), Raul Mondesi (1995) and Hee-Seop Choi (2005). In addition to Kemp’s league-leading home run total in 2011, his first place finish in RBI (126) and third place finish in batting average (.324) made the Oklahoma native a close contender for the Triple Crown. Among N.L. players this season, the outfielder is currently tied for sixth with 12 home runs, raising his career total to 140 in seven Major League seasons.
In addition to coverage on ESPN, the 2012 State Farm Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN HD, ESPN 3D, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3.com, ESPN Mobile TV, and ESPN Radio in the U.S. as well as ESPN International beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT on Monday, July 9th. For more information, please visit allstargame.com or royals.com/2012.