The South Atlantic League will boast its biggest bats at its home run derby on June 18. But the hitters won’t be swinging for the fences — they’ll be aiming for the ocean.
The home run derby, part of the South Atlantic League’s 53rd annual All-Star Game, will take place on the flight deck of the USS Yorktown. The World War II aircraft carrier will be docked in Charleston Harbor, S.C., where 10 minor league hitters will have a chance to swing for the Atlantic Ocean.
The competitors — five batters from the Northern Division and five from the Southern Division — will get 10 swings from the USS Yorktown. The top four players will finish the final round of the home run derby the following day, June 19, at the All-Star Game at Riley Park. The host team, the Charleston Riverdogs, are the Single-A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
In almost all other home run derbies, fans crowd the outfield seats for a chance at catching a home run ball. For the South Atlantic League derby, however, the Riverdogs have paid for kayakers and jet skis to retrieve baseballs hit into the harbor.
Unfortunately, the USS Yorktown does not come equipped with an outfield wall. In order to determine a home run derby champion, the U.S. Coast Guard will be assessing the distance of each ball hit and noting the longest home runs to determine the final four competitors.
The South Atlantic League has not yet announced the 10 competitors for the home run derby.