The annual MLB Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game is always an exciting event. After all, few things are more fun to watch than an all-star slugger launching a barrage of baseballs over the fence and out of the park.
But there was an extra level of excitement to this year’s Home Run Derby, especially if you were 14-year-old Raquelle Enos. Enos was paired with New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who was competing in the Derby. No, Enos didn’t have to swing a bat…she just had to sit on the bench and cheer on Cano, since if he won the whole thing, Major League Baseball and State Farm would pay out $50,000 to Enos’ branch of the Boys & Girls Club of America.
Sure enough, Cano beat Red Sox rival Adrian Gonzales in a thrilling final round, and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale, Lehigh Branch received the extra cash. Not only that, but State Farm and the MLB paid out even more thanks to “Gold Ball” home runs: that is, home runs hit with a special gold baseball on a player’s last attempt of each round.
Additionally, since the four American League hitters outscored the National League hitters (a new element to the competition this year), $150,000 will be donated to the AL team captain’s charity of choice. That’s Red Sox slugger David “Big Papi” Ortiz, who has chosen his own David Ortiz Children’s Fund to receive the award.
In total, $603,000 was raised for charity as a result of the 2011 Home Run Derby on Monday night. I’d say that’s a home run in anyone’s book.