Classic Home Run Derby

Remember the old TV show "Home Run Derby?" (Not the the All-Star trick they play once a year nowadays.) I happened to be channel-surfing today, and found it again.
What strikes me is how boring most of these shows were. The hitters quickly collected three outs, (after all, they had to squeeze nine innings into a half-hour show) the interviews were lame and listless, the host, Mark Scott, got tepid comments from the hitters like "He didn't miss that one by much."

One chuckle is when he gushes "Today's grand prize winner gets $2,000!"
That wouldn't have picked up Miguel Cabrera and Freddie Garcia's bar tab last fall.

"And if they hit three consecutive home runs they get another $500 prize!!!" Wow.

Curious that the announcer make a big deal out of "this stadium favors neither American nor National League hitters." Other than the fact that it's a tiny little symmetrical little minor league park, why would it favor neither leagues' hitters?

Maybe the best show was Willie Mays vs. Mickey Mantle. Classic, but I present it to you here.

Sadly, (if you enjoyed HRD) the show didn't last long, and neither did its host. It was only in syndication from January 9 to July 2, 1960. Just days 11 later,on July 13, Scott died of a heart attack at the age of 45, and that's all she wrote, baseball fans.

Another trivia question, since ya'll did so well on the U of M question: who made the most money on Home Run Derby?


  1. You are looking at the $2,000 and $1,000\prizes based on TODAYS salaries. In 1960
    Mickey Mantle was the highest paid player
    at about $75,000 a year. Most of the other
    stars made 20,000 to 45,000 a year so the
    $4,000 to $7,000 they wouild get for a couple
    of weeks worth of shows was a lot of money.
    80% of the big league'rs had to work off season jobs to support their famalies.

  2. It is amazing to me that the show was only on for less than a year. It seemed like it was on forever.

  3. UR right, anonymous, it's just a different game, day, age, economy. I just found it humorous. (Do stop back though, your comment is on target. Your note brings up some interesting questions: what would that $2,000 compare to in today's big league salary?)
    I believe it was only produced for 6 months, but ran in re-runs forever, (as it does today on ESPN.)

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