07/13/2008 2:52 PM ET
State Farm Home Run Derby participants announced
Major League Baseball and State Farm, the official insurance sponsor of Major League Baseball, today announced the eight All-Stars who will participate in the 2008 State Farm Home Run Derby, which will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes TV and ESPN Radio on Monday at 8 p.m. (EDT).
The National League will feature Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman; Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun; Florida Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla; and Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.
Competing for the American League will be Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria; Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau; and Cleveland Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore.
Berkman, a five-time N.L. All-Star, will be competing in the Derby for the fourth time in his career. He also took part in 2002, 2004 (finishing as the runner-up at his home ballpark, Minute Maid Park) and 2006. Morneau, a two-time A.L. All-Star, was a part of last year's field at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The remaining six participants will be competing in the Derby for the first time. Longoria will be just the sixth rookie ever to participate in the Derby.
NL, Bats, Age, 2008 homeruns, Career homeruns
Lance Berkman, HOU, S, 32, 28 (T-7th in NL), 281
Ryan Braun, MIL, R, 24, 23(T-4th in NL), 57
Dan Uggla, FLA, R, 28, 23(T-4th in NL), 81
Chase Utley, PHI, L, 29, 25(T-3rd in NL), 122
AL, Bats, Age, 2008 homeruns, Career homeruns
Josh Hamilton, TEX, L, 27, 21 (T-2nd in AL), 40
Evan Longoria, TB, R, 22, 16(T-14th in AL), 16
Justin Morneau, MIN, L, 27, 14(T-21st in AL), 124
Grady Sizemore, CLE, L, 25, 23(1st in AL), 101
The "Gold Ball" donation program will be included again in the State Farm Home Run Derby competition. For every home run that State Farm Home Run Derby participants hit during the competition after their ninth out, Major League Baseball and State Farm will combine to donate $17,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the official charity of Major League Baseball. The $17,000 represents each of the State Farm agents across the United States and Canada.
This year's event will feature two new additions, the State Farm and MLB Call Your Shot promotion and the MLB and State Farm Boys & Girls Club Player Match-Up.
Bennett Hayes of Brimfield, Illinois is the grand prize winner of the State Farm and Call Your Shot promotion and will be on the field during the Derby to call a memorable home run shot at Yankee Stadium. In addition to the on-field event, Hayes won round trip air transportation and first class hotel accommodations for four to New York, four tickets to the State Farm Home Run Derby and MLB All-Star Game and several other New York-themed prizes.
Prior to the final round of the State Farm Home Run Derby, Hayes will join the two State Farm Home Run Derby finalists and will choose the spot where the sluggers will try to deliver a home run. A coin toss will determine which MLB player gets the first crack at the called shot. If either player delivers a home run to the called field, Hayes will take home a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid vehicle and a 2009 MLB ticket package ... and a lifetime of memories from the ultimate baseball experience.
Each Derby participant will also be paired with a teenager from a New York area Boys & Girls Club, with the winning player securing a $50,000 Teen Center for the local Boys & Girls Club for the teen with whom he is paired, compliments of State Farm. Boys & Girls Club members paired with non-winning Derby participants will be awarded $10,000 toward a Teen Center for their clubs.
"The caliber of players that are participating in this year's State Farm Home Run Derby is outstanding," said Mark Gibson, assistant vice president of advertising for State Farm. "We look forward to a high energy event for the fans and some friendly rivalries developing between the professional players. We wish all the players the best of luck and hope to see a record number of gold balls in the stands."
The 79th Major League Baseball All-Star Game, being held at Yankee Stadium in its final season, will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. (EDT). The 2008 All-Star Game will be preceded by FOX's coverage of the 2008 All-Star Game Red Carpet Parade presented by Chevy along Sixth Avenue in Manhattan at 7 p.m. (EDT). ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the 208 All-Star Game that will also be available on XM Satellite Radio, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage. For the sixth consecutive year, the outcome of the All-Star Game will have an impact on postseason play, as the winning League in this year's All-Star Game will have home-field advantage in the 2008 World Series.