Hamilton's jacks typify Stadium history
Slugger's Derby exhibition fitting for 'House That Ruth Built'
NEW YORK -- Babe Ruth hit most of his 714 home runs here, making the long ball important to the game. Roger Maris hit his 61st here in 1961. Mickey Mantle hit them here far and often. Reggie Jackson went deep three times in one World Series game here to officially become Mr. October, and Derek Jeter homered here in November.
One has to be careful in trying to put what Josh Hamilton did in any kind of historical perspective, because Yankee Stadium just has too much home run history. Nevertheless, he made some magic that seemed only fitting as this All-Star Week was brought here to help send out a sports cathedral in deserving style.
The Rangers slugger went yard 28 times in the first round of the State Farm Home Run Derby, blowing away Bobby Abreu's once mind-boggling record of 24 set in the first round of the 2005 contest in Detroit. But the slate was wiped clean entering the final round, and a consistent Justin Morneau of the Twins wound up with the title, causing some people perhaps to remember what Rene Russo's Dr. Molly Griswold said to Kevin Costner's Roy McAvoy in the movie Tin Cup:
"Oh, Roy, five years from now, nobody is going to remember this Open, who won, who lost, but they're gonna remember your 12!"
That's kind of how it felt at Yankee Stadium. Everyone will remember Hamilton's 28. That includes Morneau, who said, "When players are giving a guy a standing ovation, when they're in awe of what a guy is doing, that's something special."
Time for the All-Star Game
The All-Star managers named their starting lineups, and the big news is that Milton Bradley (AL, Rangers) and Albert Pujols (NL, Cardinals) will be designated hitters, and Cliff Lee (AL, Indians) and Ben Sheets (NL, Brewers) will be the starting pitchers. Bradley replaces injured David Ortiz, who was voted by fans to start at DH.
The starting lineups:
AL: 1. Ichiro Suzuki (RF), 2. Derek Jeter (SS), 3. Hamilton (CF), 4. Alex Rodriguez (3B), 5. Manny Ramirez (LF), 6. Bradley (DH), 7. Kevin Youkilis (1B), 8. Joe Mauer (C), 9. Dustin Pedroia (2B).
NL: 1. Hanley Ramirez (SS), 2. Chase Utley (2B), 3. Lance Berkman (1B), 4. Pujols (DH), 5. Chipper Jones (3B), 6. Matt Holliday (RF), 7. Ryan Braun (LF), 8. Kosuke Fukudome (CF), 9. Geovany Soto (C).
FanFest: It's time for teacher
Adam Wilbur, a high school band director and teacher in Long Island, won the "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" Video Contest presented by Baby Ruth and will now lead the fans at Yankee Stadium in a rendition of that famous song during the seventh-inning stretch at the All-Star Game.
Fans uploaded their videos to MLB.com starting in April and ultimately voted from among 10 semifinalists to decide which three entrants should be sent to All-Star Week and face a three-person panel. Former Yankee Bernie Williams, actor William Petersen of "CSI" and A.J. Holloway of "Extra" were the judges who listened to each of the performers Monday morning at FanFest, and they went with Wilbur, who played a ukulele, along with his brother's work on the tuba, in his video.
"This has taken on a life of its own, and the icing on the cake is just getting to perform at the All-Star Game," Wilbur said. "This has been the most fun I've ever had."
Workout Day interviews
The most popular line of questioning in the annual All-Star player interview sessions during the day was Yankee Stadium itself. It seemed to be the star of the day -- until Hamilton started swinging for the fences.
"This game Tuesday is going to be remembered forever," said Edinson Volquez of the Reds. "This is going to be the last All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. I think it's going to be great. A lot of people are going to be excited."
"You can play a four-hour game out there and it feels like you're out there for 45 minutes," Jones said. "Time flies when you're having fun."
Manny Ramirez took a pass on the interviews. Just being Manny.
The questions are starting to pile up for Commissioner Bud Selig's chat, an eighth annual All-Star Week event that will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Fans can submit their questions now via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Selig will spend about half an hour answering questions at MLB.com's booth during the DHL All-Star FanFest at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. The chat will be carried live on MLB.TV and the Baseball Channel.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.