Los Angeles won’t be the only city to host a home derby in 2022.
On Wednesday, Major League Baseball announced the launch of MLB Home Run Derby X, a world baseball tour stopping in London, Seoul and Mexico City and featuring former stars Adrian Gonzalez, Jonny Gomes, Geovany Soto and Nick Swisher.
Gonzalez will represent the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gomes the Boston Red Sox, Soto the Chicago Cubs and Swisher the New York Yankees. Teams representing four of MLB’s oldest franchises will face off July 9 in London at Crystal Palace Park, September 17 in Seoul and October 15 in Mexico City at venues to be announced later.
The competition will take place on a “scaled-down version of a baseball diamond” with a home plate mounted on a stage and a pitcher’s mound on a podium, with a playing field designed to adapt to a range of environments from festival sites to stadiums.
“Inspired by the success and simplicity of the Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All-Star Game, Home Run Derby X was developed with the goal of attracting a new audience to baseball; creating live event experiences energy and opportunities for digital storytelling,” MLB said in a statement.
Batters will be able to swing 25 pitches and take up to 10, with the ability to earn points by hitting targets placed 160 feet from home plate and two beyond the outfield fences, similar to the minigames of the legendary video game MVP Baseball. 2005. The opposition will have players in the outfield and can earn points by catching baseballs that don’t go over the fence.
Teams will receive one run for every home run, hit or catch, while players can request a run streak that will see teams double their runs on the next five pitches.
Each event will feature a winner and the tour will culminate in a knockout tournament to determine the Home Run Derby X Tour champions in the final event.
Each team will feature players from four categories, including MLB legends, superstars from the world of softball and women’s baseball, a rookie from the men’s baseball development system, and jokers who are “influential content creators “.
The Dodgers have Gonzalez, Ashton Lansdell as a superstar and Yoongy Kwak as a joker. The Red Sox will feature Gomes, Paige Halstead as superstar and Liv Cooke as wild card. The Cubs will feature Soto, superstar Alex Hugo and wildcard Spencer Owen, while the Yankees will boast Swisher, superstar Erika Piancastelli, Mexico-only superstar Stefania Aradillas and wildcard Daniel Corral.
The rookie pool will be announced at a later date.
Soto, who last played in 2017, said he was excited to show his playing ability to his kids.
“The Chicago Cubs signed me at 18, so to have another opportunity to put that jersey back on and be part of the Home Run Derby X is an honor and a privilege,” he said. “I can’t wait for my kids to see me swing the bat and hit home runs.”