What It’s Like Attending the MLB Home Run Derby

Bryce Harper celebrates winning the 2018 MLB Home Run Derby
Bryce Harper celebrates winning the 2018 MLB Home Run Derby | © Alex Brandon/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The Major League Baseball Home Run Derby, part of the league’s All-Star Week celebrations, is an annual competition pitting players against one another to see who can hit the most home runs.

Loved by over 40s

It was sweltering and humid in Washington DC, a typical mid-July evening. More than 43,000 fans—most wearing red in honor of their local Washington Nationals—were clamoring inside Nationals Park.

While fans were hoping for a breeze off the nearby Anacostia River, the temperature inside the stadium began to rise as Bryce Harper, the talismanic face of the Nationals, was due up next. The public address announcer began to hype up the crowd as Harper grabbed his bat and stepped up to the plate.

“From YOUR Washington Nationals … BBBBBrryyccee Harper!”

Bryce Harper had the local crowd in Washington, D.C., behind him all evening

Looking like Captain America, clad in stars-and-stripes socks and headband, and armed with a special cherry blossom bat, the hometown favorite began to take his swings for the MLB Home Run Derby, an event which began in 1985 as an exhibition of slugging prowess the day before the MLB All-Star Game.

Suddenly, the crowd wasn’t concerned with the beads of sweat rolling down their faces as they jumped to their feet at every crack of Harper’s bat. Other participants, including Philadelphia Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber, and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, got the crowd excited with their massive hits, but it was Harper who brought the exuberance of the thousands in attendance to astronomical levels.

Harper advanced to the final of the eight-participant competition against Schwarber, who began by belting 18 home runs. Following a lengthy commercial break—sufficient time to get the crowd as hyped as possible—Harper stepped up to the plate as Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ blared over the stadium’s speakers. Fans chanted “Let’s go Harper!” at the top of their lungs.

After 30 seconds, Harper hit his first ball over the outfield fence, which really got him into a groove; the Nationals player matched Schwarber’s mark by the end of his time limit.

- embed -

The Derby, which has seen countless rule and format changes since its inception, awards participants for home runs hit longer than 440 feet. This meant Harper got an additional 30 seconds at a moment when he needed just one home run to bring home the title—something he was unable to do in 2013, when he last participated.

Two pitches later, Harper was exuberant in his reaction—flipping his bat and throwing his hands in the air—as his latest swing sent the ball over the wall in right-center field. He was hoisted up by teammates, trophy in hand, as confetti fell from the rafters.

Nationals Park had just witnessed their hometown hero further cement his DC legacy.

Travel and accommodation provided by Chevrolet

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.