2018 Home Run Derby: Harper Makes History

July 16, 2018 - 10:48 pm

Kyle Powell reporting

For the first time in its history, Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. was given the honor of hosting the All-Star Game festivities. The MLB All-Star Futures Game took place yesterday afternoon, and Team USA slugged their way to a 10-6 victory over the World. It was quite fitting that the Futures Game on Sunday featured so many long balls, because it was a nice appetizer for what was to come on Monday night.

The entreé, of course, was the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby. Eight sluggers (seven of which came from teams in the National League) tested their wits in four-minute bouts of strength, perseverance and determination to see who could annihilate the most total baseball into the seats before the timer hits zero. Contestants were seeded based off their total number of first-half, regular-season dingers.

Thanks in part to nine (!!) home runs in 47 seconds in the Final round, the Nationals' own Bryce Harper took home the hardware with a miraculous comeback over Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs. Being the lower seeded hitter, Schwarber kicked off the Finals with 18 homers and applied some serious pressure on Harper. Bryce made the best of it, though, rallying to tie Schwarber at 18 as his initial timer expired. From there, Harper was able to mash the clinching dinger thanks to bonus time earned from hitting at least two of his homeruns at or over 440 feet.

With his Home Run Derby triumph, Harper also joined a short list of participants to win the Derby in their home ballpark.  Until 2018, only the Cubs' Ryne Sandberg (1990, Wrigley Field) and the Reds' Todd Frazier (2015, Great American BallPark) lay claim to such prestige.

Let's take a look at the recap of how we got to Harper's victory:


Round 1:

A pair of early upsets headlined the opening round of action from the Nation's Capital.

  • #8 Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia Phillies) def. #1 Jesús Aguilar (Milwaukee Brewers), 17-12
  • #5 Kyle Schwarber (Chicago Cubs) def. #4 Alex Bregman (Houston Astros), 16-15
  • #3 Max Muncy (Los Angeles Dodgers) def. #6 Javier Báez (Chicago Cubs), 17-16
  • #2 Bryce Harper (Washington Nationals) def. Freedie Freeman (Atlanta Braves), 13-12


Round 2:

A mad dash to the finish line from the Cubs's Kyle Schwarber vaulted him past Rhys Hoskins in the final seconds of his round.

  • #5 Schwarber def. #8 Hoskins, 21-20
  • #2 Harper def. #3 Muncy, 13-12



A rally for the ages saw home-town favorite Bryce Harper emerge victorious over his NL Central foe.

  • #2 Harper def. #5 Schwarber, 19-18


The rest of the All-Star Break festivities come at you on Tuesday night, where the All-Star Game gets going at 8:00 p.m.

The starting pitching matchup sees yet another Washington National take center stage as Max Scherzer (12-5, 2.41 ERA) does battle with Boston's Chris Sale (10-4, 2.23 ERA) for the second straight Midsummer Classic.

You can hear the game right here on WGR. Our coverage starts at 7:00 p.m.

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