Home Run Derby reinvents itself, becomes big hit

They added a clock, and then with much more suddenness than a batting practice fastball, baseball‘€™s annual Home Run Derby became exciting to watch again. Sort of like the Lightning Round on the old "Match Game."

Still, my prediction is a lot of older baseball fans won‘€™t be entirely satisfied until the Home Run Derby we now have looks like the Home Run Derby we/they used to have.

Check out the video below.

It‘€™s Mickey Mantle vs. Willie Mays swingin‘€™ for the fences at the other Wrigley Field, the one in Los Angeles.

The Mick looks sort of sleepy eyed, as if he needs a cigarette. His hat is pulled down low over his eyes in a lot of the shots –€” this particular episode of Home Run Derby must have been shot during the morning hours, or a little while after The Mick and Whitey Ford might have just been getting in.

The Say Hey Kid looks young and vibrant. It was cool to watch this, because I was 3 when it came out, and I don‘€™t remember Willie looking like this. I mostly remember when he was with the Mets toward the end, when he was not so young and vibrant.

Mark Scott, the host, looks like he just stepped off the set of "My Three Sons"€ or the Dobie Gillis show. He speaks about The Mick and Willie really "€œtagging that one."€ He appears either much too innocent or much too hokey to be believed.

Because the Home Run Derby TV show was shot in 1960, in black and white, I‘€™m going with innocent.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ron Kantowski can be reached at or 702-383-0352. Follow him on Twitter: @ronkantowski.










































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