For Immediate Release
December 24, 2004

     HAWAII — Christmas Eve on the Islands has become tradition in the Mid-West Baseball League.  This year, the weather almost canceled the event.  Not the weather in Hawaii, the weather around the Nation.  but the Classic got underway, and started off with a Long Ball.  A Really Long Ball.  The first hitter up was Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Riots. Pujols was one of the few players who had no trouble getting to Hawaii for the second annual MWBL Christmas Classic.
The Classis was almost put off with many of the players having travel arrangements delayed or switched due to a snow storm that coveted some parts of the Mid-West United States. “We were lucky to get the Classic in this year, but in the end, there was no way we could have canceled such a big and fun event for the league” said Commissioner Corrado.  “It’s one of my favorite events of the year for the MWBL”.
This years Favorite Albert Pujols delivered on the first pitch he saw, by teeing off on a 568 foot monster shot that cleared the stadium and left more than a few fans who had gathered outside the stadium chasing it down the street.  One lucky young boy, Louis Sockalis wound up grabbing the ball, and said “It would be nice if this was the ball that won the derby”.
The second annual MWBL Christmas Classic had a twelve-man lineup, which included some heavyweight hitters in the likes of Barry Bonds, Richie Sexson, Jim Thome, and Alex Rodriguez, but it was Albert Pujols who stole the show.
Pujols with the swing that netted him the longest ballhit at 568 feetAlbert Pujols hit 27 homers on the evening and 12 of them in the first round, both records, breaking the mark set by the Bottle Rockets’ Lance Berkman last year when he hit 9 HR’s. He followed up the record breaking first-round performance by edging Road Runners third baseman Mike Lowell, 7-4, in the finals. Of Pujols’ seven homers in the finals, 5 came after he had recorded six outs, over half of the requisite total.
“I was just hoping to have a good showing,” said Pujols, who was the favorite heading into the contest. “Then I’m standing out there on the field and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God. I just won the Christmas Classic.'”
“Last year it was the Wild Card, this year the favorite” said last year’s winner Lance Berkman as he handed Pujols the Christmas Classic Wreath that comes along with winning the coveted award.
“All in all I was pleased with my performance,” said Pujols, who was at home last year during the Christmas Classic.  “I’d like to think I can make it back here next year to defend my title.”
Severn Shortstop – Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez, shocked the multitudes by having his problems in the early going of his round, even whiffing at a couple of pitches for outs. The right-handed hitting Rodriguez found himself facing elimination with only two homers and three outs to go. He then took advantage of the porch by putting out the next pitch into the left-field seats, but then managed to pop three straight up.
Pujols' knowing he won the MWBL Christmas Classic... Jim Thome, Jose Guillen, Andruw Jones, Frank Thomas, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, & Javier Lopez, all were eliminated after the first round.  Bagwell and Sexson went out after the second round, as Pujols hit eight homers in round two, and Mike Lowell went yard five times.
Lowell in the finals made 8 straight outs before picking up a four homers in his last six swings. “I was pressing, and knowing Albert was knocking the crap out of the ball, I was pressing way too hard”  “Oh well, I had fun, and it was an enjoyable experience, to finish second to Pujols is a nice honor”.
In the final round Pujols hit only two homers while making six outs in the first eight balls he hit.  Suddenly Lowell’s four in the final round didn’t look so bad.  “I wasn’t in a groove in the last round, then, all of a sudden I hit something like five out of the next nine, and knew I had won it.  Once I had won it, I was pressing to try and hit another long one, like the first pitch I say today”.

Complete Details of the 2nd Annual Christmas Classic Home Run Derby

How the Christmas Classic Home Run Derby is Conducted

WEDNESDAY 07/24/2024
AT 11:59 PM - ET!