Prelude to the Mid-Summer Classic – The 2009 Home Run Derby
Regardless of what you think of the game, just about everybody can appreciate the contest which goes on the day before the All Star Game- the Home Run Derby. Whether you’re a fair weather fan or a diehard everybody likes to see the cover knocked off the dang ball.
Often times the game’s biggest power hitters decline to participate fearing that their swing will get messed up during the second half of the season. Such was not the case this year with the four National League contestants ranking in the top 5 (Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder, and Adrian Gonzalez) and three of the American League contestants in the top 4 (Nelson Cruz, Carlos Pena, and Brandon Inge).
This go-around did not have a story like last year with Josh Hamilton knocking 28 out of Yankee Stadium in one round, but had drama all its own. At the end of the first round hometown favorite Albert Pujols was tied with Joe Mauer and Carlos Pena. Pujols quickly earned his place n the second round blasting two long balls in the tie breaker.
The night belonged to two other guys though. Nelson Cruz from Texas put on an impressive show in the first round knocking 11 out of the park along with Prince Fielder of the Brewers. Although Pujols gets an ‘A’ for effort hitting ten in the second round to bring his 2 round total to 15 it was not enough to overcome Cruz and Fielder.
In the end it was Fielder who would triumph with another 6 in the finals bringing his total to 23 for the contest.
I don’t know if ESPN did it on purpose, but they made it really easy for me to have plenty of time to get another beer or go to the bathroom. If I was only listening to the contest would have had a hard time realizing what it was. For much of the Derby, Berman and Co. talked about anything but the hitters or the contest. Conducting interviews while one of the contestants was at bat was in extremely poor taste, disrespectful to the hitters, and to the game.
However, it gave me a lot of time to enjoy one of my favorite beers a little bit more. In honor of the game I bought a six pack of an old favorite to enjoy while watching the Derby. Since I ended up having my rally cal on for Pujols during the first round it was only appropriate that I drink Rally Cap Ale (from Pete’s Brewing Company).
During the 70’s founder Pete Slosberg was more into wine then beer. Not patient enough to wait out the fermentation process he turned to beer. After perfecting his craft for a few years he founded Pete’s Brewing Company in San Antonio, TX.
Beer: Rally Cap Ale is one of the main stays of the company. Made with a blend of wheat and pale malts this brew has a light, straw like color that pours with little head. The scent is nice and sweet as well as little citrusy thanks to the natural lemon used in brewing. With a good clean taste this beer goes down easy and leaves a little taste of lemon on the tongue once you are done. Refreshing and easy to drink this ale was the just-right compliment to the Home Run Derby, prelude to the All Star Game.