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Minor League Baseball

The Reading Phillies Plan To Put On The Wackiest Home Run Derby Ever (Video)

On July 10, the Reading Phillies, the AA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, will hold a Home Run Derby for the ages. The entire spectacle — and believe me, once you read about just what they have planned, you will be sure to agree — which will benefit the United Way of Berks County, is set to feature an autograph session prior to what will surely be the goofiest home run derby ever held.

In an article on the team’s official site (via Big League Stew), Reading Phillies general manager Scott Hunsicker insists that people “almost have to watch this video to have any idea what we are planning for this thrilling hitting challenge” and adds that “after watching this video, fans will better understand what our creative staff has dreamt up,” so let’s cut to the chase and take this guy up on his suggestion.

The video, featuring Hunsicker laying out the plans, follows.

Note: the video is five minutes long, but well worth the time.

Wait. Was anyone else trying to find Waldo on the field or was that just me?

Needless to say, what the creative people behind this concept have come up with is definitely unique, far better than the way-too-boring, far-too-long exhibition Major League Baseball lazily trots out ever year at their Midseason Classic.

To summarize:

During this unique hitting challenge, players will be trying to hit select targets around the field to earn points. As seen in the video, targets include outfield dunk tanks, R-Phils fanatics jumping on a trampoline, and pink flamingo yard ornaments sprinkled around the outfield. 

Conversely, there will be obstacles hitters will want to avoid in order to not lose points. The Reading Phillies mascots will be scattered around the field, trying to snag balls hit by the all-stars. For each ball the mascots catch, the hitter will be penalized with negative points. 

While the hitting challenge is going on, an exclusive VIP party will actually take place right on the infield. These VIP quests will be protected by a net as they party away with homerun balls sailing over their heads. The VIP Infield Party will connect with the Fairgrounds Square Mall Third Base Picnic Area and accommodate a limited total of 500 people.

Sounds grand. And so far out-of-the-box it could never be put back into one no matter how hard a person tried. Now that, my friends, is how you go about putting on a home run derby. Did I mention that a buffet “consisting of barbecued ribs, barbecued chicken, hot dogs, baked ziti, BBQ sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, corn on the cob, pasta and potato salad, lemonade, iced tea, and Pepsi products” will also be provided to the folks at the VIP Infield Party? Not a bad way to spend the day at the ballpark, that’s for sure.