Hitting off the Deck to the Bay
“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” has become one of my favorite cliches, primarily because it helps to justify the fact that some of my content is months old at this point.
It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
With that in my mind, let’s (re)visit one of the most unique events to take place in the Minor Leagues this season: on June 18, the first round of the South Atlantic League Home Run Derby was held on the deck of Charleston’s USS Yorktown. Participants hit balls into the Charleston Harbor, which were summarily scooped up by volunteers on jet skis.
The above photo, and all of the photos to come, were taken by Chad Walters. You may remember Walters from the 2011 Winter Meetings in Dallas, as he set up shop at the Trade Show in order to inform teams about his Lean Blitz consulting business. He also was a Dipquest attendee. When Walters got in touch just prior to the derby to see if I’d be interested in running his photos on the blog, I said “of course!” I didn’t say that it would take upwards of two months for me to run them but, well, here we are.
Some background info, courtesy of Walters:
The USS Yorktown is docked in Patriots Point in Charleston Harbor. The large bridge in the background is the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge across the Cooper River. The USS Yorktown is a naval museum and is permanently docked.
Miller High Life was one of the event’s sponsors and, as such ,High Life spokesman Wendell Middlebrooks was in attendance.
More from Walters:
The manufacturer of the inflatable backstop is InMotion Air out of Alpharetta, Georgia. It took them about six minutes to inflate the backstop and probably 20 minutes to completely set up to accommodate some reservations by the organizers about the netting hanging down a little close to bat swing paths.
The scene around the Yorktown as attendees and participants made their way to the venue.
Truly, there had never been a home run derby like this before.
Just a bit more from the virtual pen of Mr. Walters:
The two hitters I’ve shown from the front side are Matt Skole of Hagerstown and Matt Duffy of Lexington (the jersey resembles the 80’s Astros design). Both moved onto the finals being held tonight at the RiverDogs stadium prior to the start of the All-Star Game.
Oh, well, then let’s take a look at these front side batsmen.
Walters, unfortunately, had to depart the event before Bill Murray showed up to take a few swings (Murray is a Charleston resident and co-owner of the RiverDogs). For more info on how it all went down, then take a gander at this photo recap provided by Charleston-based Post and Courier.
Thanks to Walters for sending his pictures and observations, and my apologies for taking some 52 days to run them. Remember: it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.