Who was the best non-pro home run hitter at New Britain (Conn.) Stadium Tuesday night? It was very likely SportsCenter mid-day anchor Jay Crawford, who won the “local community competition” part of the Class AA Eastern League Home Run Derby on the eve of its All-Star Game. (The home field of the Twins’ affiliated club is a short distance from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn. headquarters.)
Crawford, before a crowd of 6,374, bested the seven-man “community team” which included his SportsCenter colleague Jay Harris, policemen, high school players and Hartford-area media.
“Baseball has always been my first love so anytime I get the opportunity to swing a bat or pitch, I jump at the chance,” Crawford said. “Winning was just icing on the cake, and before the rumors start flying around, I’m clean! Always have been.”
Of his colleague Harris’ effort, Crawford smiled and said, “Jay, you’re a terrific SportsCenter anchor.”
ICYMI: Highlights from the past week on Front Row
• David Letterman had some fun with ESPN in Wednesday’s Top Ten because, as Letterman said, “people love the ESPN.” And the ESPN loves you, Dave.
• Colin Kaepernick, Matt Harvey and Kerri Walsh Jennings are just some of the athletes baring all for ESPN The Magazine’s fifth annual “Body Issue.” The Mag’s Senior Deputy Editor Neely Lohmann shared what makes this fifth edition so special.
In the video below, ESPN The Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief Chad Millman visited Scott Van Pelt and guest co-host John Buccigross to talk about the making of the “Body Issue.”
• The Wrigley Field tradition of singing the classic Take Me Out to the Ball Game song inspires a feature narrated by actor Jim Belushi. Producer Mike O’Connor gave details on the piece which aired on SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight.
• A “Lineup” of the Mike & Mike crew’s seven favorite bobbleheads on the set, including Buzz Lightyear, Minnie Mouse and more.
• ESPN’s NASCAR pit producer Rene Hatlelid shared the “orchestrated chaos’ surrounding green flag pit stop coverage.
Row of Four
Our favorites from across ESPN over the past week
• From ESPN.com: What can hockey fans look forward to next season? Scott Burnside peers into the league’s future
• From ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine: Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo break down the British Open
• From espnW: Amateur athletes love pain. And life lessons. Here’s a triathlete’s tale brimming with both
• Enjoy an array of photos from ESPN Images
Dan Quinn contributed to this piece.