Kids used to yell “back, back, back and gone” when they would imagine they were Ken Griffey Jr., Sammy Sosa or Mark McGwire back in their heyday. Kids used to hit the field and have their hats backward and tongue out to mimic Junior’s epic swing, or hold the bat high behind their head as the ball soared to watch it like McGwire. With the Home Run Derby being tonight, we want to highlight the glory years of the event and the true battle of the big names that it used to be. Back in the late ’90s, Griffey Jr., Sosa, and McGwire put on a show whenever they stepped in the batters box and had you on the edge of your seat, eager to see how far the ball would fly.
Aaron Judge is the big name in this year’s competition and he’s been putting on a show all season long and leads the league in homers. Excitement like this has been absent from the game in the recent years as Giancarlo Stanton had been untouchable, but now “The Judge” is up to challenge him. Fans are excited to see the big names in the league battle between themselves and really determine who the king of the long-ball is.
The Mid-Summer Classic festivities that make the MLB All-Star game so exciting are slowly transitioning back to the thrillers that they used to be. From ’98 to ’00, the Derby was an elite competition between the big bats of the league and it would determine who reigned supreme on the diamond. Over those three years, Griffey Jr. was the hotshot of the league that set the bar on the field and had everyone gunning to take him down. Refresh your memory on the next page and relive the glory years.