Bryce Harper reached the finals of last night’s Home Run Derby, but despite a remarkably consistent performance (Harper hit 8 home runs in each of 3 rounds), Harper was passed by the Oakland A’s Yoenis Céspedes, who dominated the first round with 17 home runs and then easily passed Harper in the final round, hitting the winning home run with 5 of his 10 outs to go.
Harper is the 3rd Mormon to participate in the Derby. The contest has been held annually since 1985. Dale Murphy tied for 2nd in the initial contest with 4 home runs–although the Derby didn’t have an overall winner then (instead one of the two leagues won each year). In the contest’s 2nd year, Wally Joyner tied for first, also with 4 home runs.
Harper is the only Mormon to participate in the Derby since then. Had he won, he would also have been the youngest winner ever in the contest’s history.
As is the custom in the Derby, Harper got to choose who he wanted to pitch to him, and chose his father, Ron Harper, who got quite a workout, throwing more than 110 pitches — more than most starting pitchers throw. But then, he also gave up 24 home runs…