07/14/2003 12:44 PM ET
Sexson joins Home Run Derby
CHICAGO -- The field for the Home Run Derby is set. Let the slugging begin.
By John Schlegel / MLB.com
The lineup was finalized Monday morning with the announcement that Milwaukee's Richie Sexson will represent the National League in the event, which will be held at 7 p.m. CT (8 ET) at U.S. Cellular Field as the capper to Monday's Gatorade All-Star Workout Day. The 18th annual contest will be broadcast live on ESPN and MLB.com Radio.
Sexson, tied for fifth in the NL with 25 homers, joins Atlanta's Gary Sheffield and St. Louis' Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols on the National League squad. The Yankees' Jason Giambi, the 2002 Home Run Derby champion, leads an American League contingent that also includes Garret Anderson of Anaheim, Bret Boone of Seattle and Carlos Delgado of Toronto.
There were rumblings that Giants slugger Barry Bonds might have a last-minute change of heart and become the eighth and final competitor, but the 39-year-old Bonds will stick with just participating in his 12th All-Star Game. Other NL possibilities included Florida's Mike Lowell, Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins, Atlanta's Javy Lopez and Andruw Jones and Arizona's Luis Gonzalez, the 2001 champion.
But Sexson is the National League's man, and he's certainly proven worthy of being in the contest.
Sexson reached the semifinals of the Home Run Derby last year, when the event was held on his home field, Milwaukee's Miller Park. He lost to eventual runner-up Sammy Sosa in the semifinals, 6-5. With 25 homers, he almost has surpassed his 2002 total of 29 and is on pace to extend his career high beyond the 45 he hit in 2001.
Giambi and Sheffield share the distinction of having the most experience with the contest, each having participated in two before -- Giambi each of the last two years and Sheffield in 1992 and '96. Sexson (2002), Boone (2001) and Delgado (2000) have participated before; the rest of the field are Home Run Derby rookies.
The contest rules are simple: Each batter gets 10 outs (non-homers) to hit as many homers as they can in the first round. The top four, regardless of league affiliation, advance to the semis, seeded by their first-round totals (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3). The final two square off in the finals, again getting 10 outs to hit as many homers as they can.
John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.