May 28, 2011
Each year, some of best professional softball home run hitters from around the country compete for prize money by showing off their home run hitting prowess at mainly major league ball parks. These softball hitting derby?s are put on by the Long Haul Bombers and they give ball-hawks a great opportunity for some unusual ball hawking fun!
The Long Haul Bombers typically hit 30 minutes prior to the first pitch, and they hit special optic yellow balls that are made for extreme performance. The balls typically fly 400-450 feet.
The rules for the derby?s are as follows: Each hitter will receive a maximum of 18 pitches for 15 swings, if the hitter swings at the first 15 pitches he is done, NO EXCEPTIONS! The 15th swing is the money ball and counts as 2 if it is hit for a HR.
I have seen as many as 15 balls land in McCovey Cove in less than 30 minutes at one of the Long Haul Derby's and it felt like it was raining balls. The splashes these balls were making was scary! I ended up with 11 balls that day. Try to get out to one of these events if one is near you. You will have a blast!
Here is the 2011 Schedule:
May 29th - Tampa Bay Rays
June 2nd - New York Mets
June 20th - Southern League All Star Game, Jackson, TN
June 25th - San Diego Padres
June 29th - Seattle Mariners
July 1st - Minnesota Twins
July 4th - Washington Nationals
July 15th - Cincinnati Reds
August 14th - Toronto Blue Jays
August 19th - Atlanta Braves
San Francisco Giants - TBD
September 18th - FINALS - LA Dodgers
Dave Edlund is a contributing columnist to myGameBalls.com and also maintains a Blog.