Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Hello from the Home Run Derby
Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium, from above
Welcome to Reading's FirstEnergy Stadium, the site of the 2012 Home Run Derby and Eastern League All-Star Game.
While what's going on tonight is being called a home run derby, that's a bit of a misnomer -- it's a hitting challenge.
Instead of the top five or so power hitters from each league trying to swat BP fastballs out of Reading's friendly confines, every hitter will get his chance at glory.
Each player gets 2 minutes to hit as many of the on-field targets -- pink lawn flamingos, a golf ball retriever like you'd see on a driving range, and interns on a trampoline and suspended from a crane are just a few of the examples of where the 31 assembled hitters will be aiming.
Here's how the hitters will line up, starting at 7:15 -
Group 1 - Pitcher: Dusty Wathan, Reading manager
Leandro Castro - Reading
Chris Herrmann - New Britain
Crazy Hot Dog Vendor
Melky Mesa - Trenton
Bryce Brentz - Portland
Ryan Goins - New Hampshire
Eric Campbell - Binghamton
Mike Spidale - Reading legend and current IronPig
Group 2 - Pitcher Dave Machemer - Richmond manager
Ramon Cabrera - Altoona
Tommy Joseph - Richmond
Thomas Neal - Akron
Robbie Widlansky - Bowie
Eury Perez - Harrisburg
Chris Rahl - Harrisburg
Buck Britton - Bowie
Brock Holt - Altoona
Group 3 - Pitcher: Bob Milacki, Reading pitching coach
Sebastian Valle - Reading
Troy Hanzawa - Reading
Jefry Marte - Binghamton
Cesar Hernandez - Reading
Mike McDade - New Hampshire
Mark Sobolewski - New Hampshire
Darin Ruf - Reading
Group 4 - Pitcher: Ken Joyce - Richmond pitching coach
Jeff Kobernus - Harrisburg
Jordan Lennerton - Erie
Daniel Mayora - Richmond
Niuman Romero - Erie
Ricky Bottalico - former Phillies closer
Jonathan Schoop - Bowie
As a bit of a happy bonus, each hitter is playing for charity. The more points he earns, the more money is donated on his behalf to one of the many United Way Partner Agencies. For example, Melky Mesa is playing for the Family Guidance Center, the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor is hitting for the American Red Cross and Erie's Jordan Lennerton will earn money for the Salvation Army.
For more details on what is going to be a crazy evening, here's a YouTube video posted by the R-Phils in February explaining how everything will be run:
I'll have some video later of Mesa, the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor, and plenty of other footage from tonight's festivities, so check back often.
Update - 6:30: There's quite the party going on on the infield dirt. Here are a few pictures from the action.