MLB Announces Home Run Derby X Global Tour With Former Players

Los Angeles won’t be the only city to host a home run derby in 2022.

On Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced the launch of MLB Home Run Derby X, a global baseball tour that stops in London; Seoul, South Korea; and Mexico City and featuring former stars Adrian Gonzalez, Jonny Gomes, Geovany Soto and Nick Swisher.

Gonzalez will represent the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gomes the Boston Red Sox, Soto the Chicago Cubs and Swisher the New York Yankees. The teams representing four of the oldest MLB franchises will compete on July 9 in London at Crystal Palace Park, September 17 in Seoul and October 15 in Mexico City at locations to be announced later.

The competition will take place on a “reduced version of a baseball field” with a home plate on a podium and a pitcher’s mound on a podium, with a playing field designed to suit a variety of environments, from festival grounds to stadiums.

“Inspired by the success and simplicity of the Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All-Star Game, Home Run Derby X was developed with the goal of attracting a new audience to baseball; creating energetic live events and opportunities for digital storytelling,” MLB said in a statement.

Hitters can swing at 25 pitches and take up to 10, with the ability to earn points by hitting targets placed 160 feet from home plate and two outside the outfield fences, similar to the minigames in the legendary video game MVP Baseball 2005. The opposition has players in the outfield and can earn points by catching baseballs that don’t make it over the fence.

Teams receive a point for each home run, goal, or catch, and players can request a hot streak that allows teams to double their points on the next five fields.

Each event will have a winner and the tour will culminate in a knockout tournament to determine the Home Run Derby X Tour champions at the final event.

Each team will feature players from four categories, including the MLB legends, superstars who come from the worlds of softball and women’s baseball, a rookie from the men’s baseball development system, and wildcards who are “influential content creators.”

The Dodgers have Gonzalez, Ashton Lansdell as the superstar and Yoongy Kwak as the wild card. The Red Sox will have Gomes, Paige Halstead as their superstar and Liv Cooke as their wild card. The Cubs will feature Soto, Alex Hugo as their superstar and Spencer Owen as their wild card, while the Yankees will boast Swisher, Erika Piancastelli as a superstar, Stefania Aradillas as a superstar only in Mexico and Daniel Corral as a wild card.

The group of rookies will be announced at a later date.

Soto, who last played in 2017, said he was excited to show his playing skills to his kids.

“The Chicago Cubs signed me at age 18, so to have another chance to put that jersey back on and be a part of Home Run Derby X is an honor and a privilege,” he said. “I can’t wait for my kids to see me swing the bat and hit home runs.”

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