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major league baseball announcement a new world tour brand called MLB Home Run Derby X on Wednesday.
MLB Noted that it will host a Home Run Derby X event in London on July 9, Seoul on September 17, and Mexico City on October 15. The London event will take place at Crystal Palace Park with locations yet to be announced for Seoul and Mexico City. .
Additionally, MLB announced some of the rules for the Home Run Derby X, which will feature four teams playing in a bracket format on smaller pitches.
Teams will consist of four players each, with each of those players having 25 shots at bat during a game. Two defenders will be present for each batsman, and runs can be scored via home runs, catches, targets and home runs on hot streak balls for a bonus.
Chris Bengel from CBS Sports added that hitters will pick up their bats on a stage and pitchers will pitch from a podium.
The teams will represent MLB’s four oldest franchises – the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs – and each team will consist of a former MLB player, star women’s baseball or softball, a player in the men’s development system, and a joker who is a content creator.
Former MLB players who will participate in the Home Run Derby X are former Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher, former Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, former Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and former Cubs Geovany Soto.
The MLB press release stated the following regarding the rationale and mission behind Home Run Derby X:
“Inspired by the success and simplicity of the Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All-Star Game, Home Run Derby X was developed with the goal of attracting a new audience to baseball; creating live event experiences energy and opportunities for digital storytelling.”
The Home Run Derby has long been one of Major League Baseball’s most popular annual traditions, although it was limited to MLB All-Star Game festivities.
There are still many legendary Home Run Derby performances to this day, including Josh Hamilton in 2008, Mark McGwire in 1999 and Bryce Harper winning at home in 2018.
MLB is also coming off the top of a highly entertaining and hotly contested 2021 Home Run Derby, which saw New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso beat Baltimore Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini 23-22 in the final round at Coors Field in Denver.
Now, MLB is looking to bring the thrill of the Home Run Derby to major cities around the world, though Home Run Derby X has a decidedly different feel to the traditional competition.