Behind The Scenes

ESPN commentators share long ball memories in advance of Home Run Derby

Cincinnati's Todd Frazier after winning the 2015 Home Run Derby on ESPN.  (Allen Kee/ESPN Images)
Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier made sweet memories of his own by winning the 2015 Home Run Derby on ESPN. (Allen Kee/ESPN Images)

Tonight’s 2016 T-Mobile Home Run Derby begins at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN with Sunday Night Baseball analysts Aaron Boone and Jessica Mendoza – who continues to break new ground in sports media, as she becomes the Derby telecast’s first female analyst – in the booth, joined by veteran Home Run Derby voice Chris Berman.

ESPN’s MLB analyst Dallas Braden and insider Tim Kurkjian will be part of the Baseball Tonight presented by T-Mobile team joining host Karl Ravech and analyst Eduardo Perez. The crew will contribute commentary from a second set inside the stadium with reporter Pedro Gomez on the field.

MLB analyst Chris Singleton will be in the ESPN Radio booth with play-by-play commentator Jon Sciambi for both tonight’s Home Run Derby and tomorrow’s 87th MLB All-Star Game presented by MasterCard.

In advance of the Derby, Front Row spoke with a few ESPN commentators about some indelible, long ball memories.

Aaron Boone on his most memorable home run as a player (excluding the 2003 ALCS):
It’s 2003 and I’m about two weeks into my Yankee career after being traded there at the deadline. We were in Baltimore and I came up in the ninth inning. We were down by a run and I hit a three-run homer close to the foul pole. I see it go fair by about ten feet so I start into my trot. I look back and the third base umpire calls it foul. I knew it was fair. I went from first base directly across to the third base umpire and lost my mind. He conferred with the other umpires and they called it fair. In the end they got the call right and it felt like a big relief to me. It helped me get going a little bit in my Yankees career.

Dallas Braden on the most memorable home run(s) he gave up as a pitcher:
The most memorable home runs I gave up as a pitcher were on August 12, 2007, against the Detroit Tigers. Magglio Ordóñez gave me a terrible early birthday present. He hit two home runs off me in the same inning which undoubtedly led to me being sent down on my 24th birthday the next day. I was forced to watch the entire game in the clubhouse. Happy birthday to me.

Tim Kurkjian on the most memorable home run he’s covered:
The most memorable home run I ever covered was Joe Carter’s walk-off for the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 World Series. I was sitting in the press box just beyond the left field fence. As soon as it was hit, I thought two things: the World Series is over, and this ball is going to hit me right in the chest. It came up several feet short, thank goodness. But it was a thrill of a lifetime. It was only the second walk-off homer ever to end a World Series.

Chris Singleton on the most memorable home run he’s seen as an analyst:
David Freese’s walk off home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series was epic! The St. Louis Cardinals came from behind to beat the Texas Rangers in eleven innings. Joe Buck was on the call and said “. . . and we’ll see you tomorrow night.”

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