The Daily Iowan

A Midsummer Classic for the books

This year’s MLB Midsummer Classic contained pure entertainment, starting off with a stellar performance in the Home Run Derby and an extra inning in the All-Star Game.

Washington+Nationals+outfielder+Bryce+Harper+%2834%29+during+the+second+inning+against+the+Miami+Marlins+on+Sunday%2C+May+27%2C+2018+at+Marlins+Park+in+Miami%2C+Fla.+Harper+won+the+Home+Run+Derby.+%28Daniel+A.+Varela%2FMiami+Herald%2FTNS%29
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (34) during the second inning against the Miami Marlins on Sunday, May 27, 2018 at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. Harper won the Home Run Derby. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald/TNS)

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (34) during the second inning against the Miami Marlins on Sunday, May 27, 2018 at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. Harper won the Home Run Derby. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald/TNS)

TNS

TNS

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (34) during the second inning against the Miami Marlins on Sunday, May 27, 2018 at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. Harper won the Home Run Derby. (Daniel A. Varela/Miami Herald/TNS)

Pat Lynch, [email protected]

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Another midsummer All-Star celebration culminated on July 16 and 17 with an epic Home Run Derby performance by Bryce Harper and an extra-inning All-Star Game won by the American League, giving players much needed rest and entertainment.

This year’s All-Star activities, which were held at Nationals Park in Washington, were pure joy for fans, especially with Harper’s performance. Harper, ranked as the second seed in the derby, won in style by going yard in his first pitch during extra time.

With 50 seconds left in the final around, Harper demolished 9 homers to pull even with 18, tying Kyle Schwarber. One of the rules put in place in 2016 is that if a batter hits two 440 feet or longer, he gets an extra 30 seconds. The Nationals’ slugger was able to do this, and with his father pitching to him, he connected with the first extra-time ball and launched it to right field.

My biggest takeaway from the derby this year was that it was super-competitive. Ever since the rule change in 2016, every player gets four minutes a round with one timeout, which adds a thrilling spectacle for fans.

Harper showed a lot of enthusiasm with his dad father winning the derby; the two shared a moment hugging and raising the trophy together. I thought it was great to see, because the two definitely had had dreams of the younger Harper’s being a major-leaguer and no better stage to do it on then the Home Run Derby.

The 89th All Star game ended up in an 8-6 win for the American League, which captured its sixth win a row. It was exciting to watch, especially in the later innings with an extra inning of play. The series overall is as close as close can be, 43-43-2, and both teams have scored 361 runs each.

Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros walked away with the MVP Award after giving the AL a go-ahead 2-run home run in the top of the tenth. Reds’ first baseman Joey Votto hit a solo shot for the National League to cut the lead to 2.

Overall, the MLB All-Star Game brings out the kid in every player. Watching the game and the Home Run Derby as a baseball fan is great because the players are enjoying themselves in a loose yet competitive atmosphere, which makes the event entertaining for everyone.

Baseball is America’s pastime, and it’s a sport played in the summer, bringing enjoyment to kids who play the game and have hopes of being in the All-Stars’ shoes.

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