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Incheon to host ex-MLB stars in home run derby in Sept.

July 21, 2022 - 10:08 By Yonhap
South Korean short track speed skater Kwak Yoon-gy (R) takes a swing during FTX MLB Home Run Derby X at Crystal Palace Park in London on July 9, in this file photo provided by Major League Baseball. Major League Baseball)

South Korea's western city of Incheon will host former major league sluggers and celebrities in a global home run derby tour in September, the event's organizers said Thursday.

"FTX MLB Home Run Derby X" will stop in Incheon, some 30 kilometers west of Seoul, on Sept. 17. London hosted the inaugural event on July 9, and the tour will also visit Mexico City in October.

Major League Baseball (MLB) announced the birth of the new bracket-style competition in March. It features four teams representing four iconic MLB clubs: the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees.

Each team will have a former big leaguer (Legend), a softball or women's baseball star (Superstar) and an influential content creator (Wild Card). Organizers said new players under the category "Hero" will be added for the South Korean event only.

Legends for the four franchises are: Jonny Gomes for the Red Sox, Geovany Soto for the Cubs, Adrian Gonzalez for the Dodgers and Nick Swisher for the Yankees.

The four combined for 832 career big league home runs, led by Gonzalez's 317. The two-time Silver Slugger Award winner had nine 20-homer seasons, including a career-high 40 in 2009.

Swisher had 245 dingers and nine consecutive 20-homer seasons, beginning in 2005.

For the Dodgers, South Korean short track speed skating star Kwak Yoon-gy made his debut as a Wild Card in London and hit his first home run there.

In the contest, hitters will swing at 25 pitches and take up to 10 pitches. They will get one point for every home run and also earn points by hitting targets -- two of them set up 160 feet from home plate and another two beyond the outfield fence.

The opposition will have players in the outfield, and a catch of any ball that fails to clear the fence is worth a point.

Tickets for the Incheon event went on sale Thursday. (Yonhap)