Detroit ace pitcher campaigning to hit in Home Run Derby

Published On June 1, 2013 | By Tyler Scionti

When you think about the Home Run Derby, you think about the greatest sluggers in the game. Names like Barry Bonds, David Ortiz, and Josh Hamilton all come to mind. There may be one player added to the list though known more for keeping the ball inside the park rather than hitting it out: Justin Verlander.

Verlander is a pitcher with a flame-throwing arm and a nasty repertoire on the mound, but it appears that he is turning the tables on himself, at least for a brief moment, as he is trying to convince MLB to allow him to hit in the Home Run Derby. Verlander didn’t come up with the idea on his own though; a fan tweeted the suggestion to him and what started as a crazy fantasy based on “what if” is now turning into a legitimate movement that just may take effect.

Verlander said he is ecstatic about the idea but doesn’t see it happening.

I’d love [to hit in the Home Run Derby],” Verlander said. “I would find it to be highly unlikely that there would be any shot of getting anywhere close to getting enough votes.”

Still Verlander is ready if he ever gets a shot at the competition. He may not be the stereotypical home run hitter like Barry Bonds but he knows he has at least a few in him to put on a show for the fans.

“I hit [homers] in BP all the time,” Verlander said. “In Houston, I hit one that would have went out of the stadium if it didn’t hit the baggie. I’m a 5 o’clock hitter … What’s the worst thing that could happen? You go up there and not hit one. So what? Nobody would be expecting me to hit one anyway. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m the dark horse.”

There are no rules barring Verlander from participating. Like any player, he can start a write-in campaign to be featured with the league’s best power hitters. But Verlander better take a little extra BP just in case he gets his wish and makes it.

Do you want to vote Verlander into the HR Derby? Here’s the link to write his name in to keep the campaign going.

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About The Author

Hi I'm Tyler Scionti, I'm a member of the class of 2015 at the College of the Holy Cross where I study English and Economics. At school I cover a variety of sports while also writing a beat column on the Boston Red Sox.