Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Josh Hamilton

Usually, fans tune in to Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby the day before the All-Star Game to see big names like David Ortiz smack softly lobbed balls out of the park. But this summer, Josh Hamilton, a 27-year-old outfielder for the Texas Rangers, emerged from relative obscurity to dominate the competition at Yankee Stadium, hitting a record 28 homers in the first round of the contest, including an unprecedented 13 in a row. In fact, he hit the most home runs that night — 35 — but, alas, Hamilton's moment faded fast: Thanks to an illogical scoring system that ignores hits from previous rounds and makes each player start from zero in the finals, he lost the derby title to Minnesota Twins' Justin Morneau, who had five dingers in the last round compared to Hamilton's measly three. For added disappointment, the Rangers finished the season with a losing record and failed to make the playoffs.