06/21/16 / Padres360.com / @Padres360
By Wayne McBrayer & Rebecca Herman from the USS Midway
When we at Padres360 found out that The Lake Elsinore Storm were going to host a Home Run Derby for the Cal League vs. Carolina All-Star Game commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the California League, we were interested in attending. When we found out that the Derby was going to be held aboard the USS Midway with home run balls being launched into the bay, we HAD to be there. We purchased our tickets several weeks ago waited patiently for the day of the Home Run Derby. We were not disappointed.
Walking up to the ship, we could see the batting cage and a chain link fence around the cage and lots of banners advertising the event. Upon reaching the deck of the ship, we were treated to all the food and drinks you could consume in 3 hours! It was all part of the VIP treatment that came with purchasing tickets to this awesome event.
Rebecca and I did have an opportunity to chat with John Kentera, Mike Janela, Madison Gritsch, and Nicky Patriarca before the derby started and thoroughly enjoyed our conversations with them.
The biggest surprise was that some of the team mascots made the trip. Thunder bounced up to Rebecca and gave her a big smooch, followed by Bernie who had to one up the top dog with a lip lock that left Rebecca’s heart skipping a beat for several minutes…
Sean McCall started off the derby by thanking those who attended and the legendary Tyler Zickel was there to talk to each of the Home Run Derby participants once they had finished their round of pounding balls into the bay (which were picked up by boats and jet ski riders after each one splashed down in the water.)
After several rounds of intense at bats from California League and Carolina League All-Stars, Kyle Petty of the Bakersfield Blaze came away with the title after hitting 8 titanic shots into the water during the final round to become the first winner of the Midway Classic Home Run Derby. After the Derby, Kyle spent an extensive amount of time signing autographs for the fans there as well as taking pictures with the fans who attended. Wayne was able to get his ball signed by Kyle after the event.
After the Home Run Derby, fans were allowed to talk to the many All-Stars of both leagues who came to support their teammates and enjoy the festivities. We were allowed to take pictures with Sean McCall in the batting cage area after the event was over and Tyler Zickel gave Rebecca a ball used during the Home Run Derby. We had a wonderful time.
Thank you to the Lake Elsinore staff who worked hard to make this event a memory that we will always fondly remember. Your hard work and dedication showed all night and your care for the fans that paid to attend did not go unnoticed by us. We love and support the Storm and their mission to provide quality entertainment in a fan friendly environment and you more than exceeded our expectations.
Wayne & Rebecca