Groomsman Games Event #6: Home Run Derby

With the Kentucky Derby and Drunk Food Derby out of the way, you’re likely clamoring for one more.  So we’ll let you have another: The Home Run Derby.

As Eli stated in the rules, we each got to pick one event ourselves. They were allowed to favor the creator heavily (this one did) but they had to have at  least a loose connection to the collective friendship of the group and Eli (we are all huge baseball fans).

The Event:
Contestants attempted to bat baseballs over a Little League field’s fence (approx. 180 feet).  A secondary boundary was marked in the outfield, which allowed additional points to be scored.

The Rules, as they were disseminated prior to The Event:
1.  Every contestant must use the same Little League bat, which will be determined some time prior to the event.
2.  For a baseball to be eligible for scoring, it must be a dirty, Little League baseball from a duffel bag in Old Man McCannon’s trunk.
3.  Any ball batted by a contestant while not wearing baseball pants will immediately be rendered ineligible for scoring.
          3a. BONUS POINT OPPORTUNITY: All in attendance who are not participating in the derby will have a vote towards the “Tightest Baseball Pants” winner.  “Tightest” can be taken literally or figuratively.  The consensus winner of the “Tightest Baseball Pants” award will begin Round 1 with 1 bonus point.
4.  Any ball batted while the contestant is wearing a helmet will immediately be rendered ineligible for scoring.
Order will determined by a heated game of dice (20-sided), thrown against torn-off cardboard up against one of the fences at the field.  Order is highest roll goes first, followed by 2nd-highest, etc.  Ties will be broken by a best of three rock-paper-scissors (winner choosing to bat ahead of or behind the loser).  In the event of a three-way (or more) tie, it will be broken by a drawing of straws – ordering of batting being longest to shortest straw drawn.
Author’s Note: There were no ties in the heated game of 20-sided dice.  But you didn’t know that a paragraph ago; I will stand by that paragraph’s inclusion – in its entirety – to my grave.
Every contestant will be able to choose who will pitch to them (an L-Screen will be provided to avoid comebackers killing any middle-to-late-middle-aged fathers).  Repeat pitchers are acceptable, but make sure you have confirmation that someone will be pitching to you on the day.  (Don’t just show up and assume Cliff’s pitcher will want to pitch to you too).
Round 1 – Each contestant will have 10 outs to produce as many points as possible.  An “out” is anything that does not result in at least 1 point.  The top two points scorers advance to round 2.  Ties will be broken by a “mini round” of 3 outs per contestant.  The bottom 4 contestant do not advance and their final place is in the order of points scored.
Round 2 (finals) – The two finalist will have 10 outs to produce as many points as possible.  An “out” is anything that does not result in at least 1 point.  The highest point-scorer in Round 2 is dubbed the Derby Champion, 2nd place the Runner-Up-Bitch.  Ties will be broken by a “mini round” of 3 outs per finalist.
4 points – Any ball that clears the fence in fair territory.
2 points – Any ball that strikes the fence in the air, and does not end up going over.
1 point – Any ball that lands beyond a temporary marker that will be placed along the outfield (probably like halfway between the fence and the infield) in the air.
Foul balls are not eligible for scoring.

What happened:

McCannon and Cliff slugged it out for first and second, Bart secured third place easily with some liners past the point marker, Rudy took 4th on a single bonus point, Eli and Al had to have a prolonged tiebreaker (approximate number of pitches seen: 467) to settle their riveting zero-zero tie. Old Man McCannon not-so-secretly took full credit for Eli’s eventual, deadlock-shattering blast to centerfield, after he doled out some tips on the fine points of hitting baseballs over Little League Fences.

Event Standings:

  1. McCannon – 10 points
  2. Clifford – 7 points
  3. Bart – 5 points
  4. Rudolph – 3 points
  5. Elijah – 2 points
  6. Allan – 1 point

Overall Standings:

1. McCannon – 47 points
2. Allan – 32 points
3. Rudolph – 27 points
4. Clifford – 22 points
5. Elijah – 21 points
6. Bart – 19 points

Testimonial from the Winner – McCannon’s Corner  

Hello and welcome back, today’s episode of The Corner is brought you to by Big Chief smokeless tobacco…sniff, sniff…the best.

I’ll give Cliff some credit here, he made it interesting. This event was mine to lose and he certainly put some pressure on. I happened to be the last person to bat, so I came up in round 1 needing to top some pretty feeble numbers (besides Cliff) as documented above.

I blame my first few outs on emotional whiplash from my Grandma’s cold-hearted betrayal when choosing the “Tightest Pants Bonus Point Winner”. I arrived at the field thinking there was no way to tip the odds more in my favor, when a seemingly brilliant ploy hit me: my grandma was in town and had decided to come out to watch – it’d be wrong not to rig it. Who would argue when I threw a curveball and declared that, rather than a collective audience vote, we would go with Grandma’s judgement on the “Tightest Pants”? Obviously no one would, and no one did.

Then Grandma Brutus-ed the shit out of me in front of everyone.

The bonus point turned out to be the only point for Rudy and enough to beat two other contestants. Also, his pants didn’t even qualify as “baseball pants” in my book and I seriously considered disqualifying him. But whatever, Grandma.

Anyway, once I got back into the swing of things (hehe), and pushed any thoughts of grand-matricide from my head, I cleaned up pretty good. Cliff put up another pretty good number in the finals, but that only made the victory that much sweeter. The father-son moment when that clinching home run went airborne was eerily reminiscent of MLB HR Derby champion Robinson Cano with his father throwing to him. After the fireworks faded, the din of the crowd died down, and our victory hug ended, my father looked me dead in the eye – the years of sports disappointment washed from his face – and said, with a single Hollywood tear running down his cheek, “I can’t believe your fucking Grandma pulled that shit.”

Testimonial from the Loser – Alan

I’d say I was the victim of alcohol, but we were all still drunk. In truth I just plain suck at hitting baseballs. If I got anything better than last place it would have been a bonus.

I played a year beyond pitching machine (one of you cleats tell me what it’s called) and probably swung a bat at a ball 30 times in the almost two decades between then and  this event. I wish I were better, but I wasn’t. I hoped someone would suck more than me, but no one did. I squeezed into an old pair of McCannon’s brother’s baseball pants hoping to at least win Tightest Pants only to lose to ones that were “tighter.”

I wish I had hit at least one, but then I wouldn’t have been last. That’s the only consolation I suppose, it came down to a two-way suck-off between me and Eli (It would have been a three-way but Rudy’s tightest pants spared him).

Everyone dealt with the same conditions and there are no excuses for the final standings. I was last because I sucked the most and McCannon won because he sucked the least.

Up Next -> Drunk Monopoly – Event #7



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