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American Legion to sponsor MLB Jr. Home Run Derby

MADISON – In an example of the organization’s commitment to helping youth, Madison American Legion, Post 229 will sponsor the Major League Baseball Jr. Home Run Derby.

This special event for baseball will be held on May 4 at 6 p.m. at Palmer Park, 574 Palmer Road, in Madison.

“Registration for local competitions in the sixth annual Jr. Home Run Derby are now open across the United States and Canada, including the first-ever softball division,” Jean Downs said. Downs is Vice Commander of American Legion, Post 229.

“The program will be hosted again this year by Madison’s American Legion, Post 229 with the support of the City of Madison Parks and Recreation Department,” Downs said. For their hometowns in 2021, coordinators organized more than 800 baseball competitions across the United States.

“The American Legion is excited to have the opportunity to host the Junior Home Run Derby for our Madison youth again this year. Along with the Pitch, Hit and Run Competition, and American Legion baseball, these events give our local athletes the chance to showcase their talent on not only a local but potentially national stage,” Bobby Lee Jr. said. Lee is Event Chair for American Legion, Post 229.

“We’re really looking forward to getting a great turnout in our community this year,” Lee said.

Jr. Home Run Derby Baseball is divided into two divisions: ages 11-12 and ages 13-14 years. The softball divisions will be 16-under and 14-under.

“A total of 32 finalists (eight per division) will be invited to compete in the finals during MLB All-Star Week in Los Angeles, at which they will participate in or attend a variety of special activities including PLAY BALL Park, the MLB Draft and the T-Mobile Home Run Derby,” Downs said.

To register, visit jrhrd2022.leagueapps.com/events/2982532-madison-american-legion-post-229.

In other upcoming activities for the sport, registration will be open soon for the annual MLB Pitch, Hit and Run competition. Event details will be published when available. Those individuals interested with the event can mark their calendars for May 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Palmer Park, Lee said.

The annual Pitch, Hit & Run competition includes baseball and softball participants from four age divisions (7-8 years old, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14). Participants are tested for accuracy (pitching), distance (hitting) and speed (running), Lee said.

In 2021, youth participated in more than 1,700 competitions in either the baseball or softball sectors of each age division, after which 24 MLB ballparks hosted team championships from late July through September.

In 2022, MLB will invite finalists from these divisions to compete during an off-day amid the 2022 World Series. All finalists will attend Game Four of the Fall Classic. Many Major League players are all Pitch, Hit & Run alumni: Andrew McCutchen, Rhys Hoskins, Eric Hosmer, Matt Wisler, Joey Gallo and J.P. Crawford, Lee said.

Adley Rutschman, first overall pick for the Baltimore Orioles in the 2019 MLB Draft, is also an alum of the program, Lee said.

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