At the 2017 Home Run Derby, for the first time since 1993, the homers from the major leagues’ best sluggers just weren’t going back, back, back anymore.
Instead, Chris Berman and his signature call was replaced by Karl Ravech – who has been with ESPN since 1993 and is a regular host of ‘Baseball Tonight’. Though Ravech was the main host, he was also joined by analysts Jessica Mendoza and Mark Teixeira, as well as reporter Buster Olney.
MORE ON HOME RUN DERBY:
And by the end of the night, Ravech didn’t give people much to complain about.
Granted, there were some down moments. Ravech asked Cody Bellinger how the Derby compared to the Little League World Series that the Dodgers rookie once played in, and at one point tried to impersonate Berman’s famous call only to field a mixed reaction.
Him doing back, back, back:
But the fact of the matter is that people are going to long for Berman’s original ‘back, back, back’ catchphrase for a long time. It became as much a part of the Home Run Derby as the moonshots themselves, and people won’t forget it anytime soon.
But Ravech kept the event exciting, in large part, by not trying to do too much – and that’s just about the most you can ask for.
He didn’t try to dominate the conversation, letting Mendoza, Teixeira and Olney have their time.
He facilitated the interviews with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton to show viewers a small inside look at what it’s like to take batting practice with their respective teammates, Gary Sanchez and Justin Bour.
He allowed Bellinger to crack his own jokes to make the audience laugh.
And in a lot of cases, he didn’t try to outdo the sheer incredulity of feats like a 513-foot Judge homer by trying to test the waters for the potential next big Home Run Derby call.
Judge finished as the champion of the Home Run Derby with 47 homers, becoming the first rookie to win the event.
And while Berman may not have been there to call it, as Ravich showed, sometimes these sluggers’ feats speak for themselves.[“Source-usatoday”]