ESPN to Debut “Ball Track” During State Farm Home Run Derby
80th MLB All-Star Game Live on ESPN Radio
ESPN’s extensive Major League Baseball All-Star coverage from Busch Stadium – home of the St. Louis Cardinals – will be highlighted by the 2009 State Farm Home Run Derby Monday, July 13, at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. local time) exclusively on ESPN HD. The Derby will also be available live via ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN International. Scheduled participants include St Louis’ Albert Pujols, who leads the Majors with 31 home runs, Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder, San Diego’s Adrian Gonzalez and Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard (2006 winner). A.L. participants will be determined. This year’s event will include the debut of “Ball Track” technology, which uses Doppler radar to track the ball off the bat and provide the following information:
- Real-time distance the ball is traveling (from the point of impact to the final resting point);
- The path of the ball, or arch, as it travels through the air;
- Projection by using the path of the ball (in mid-flight, using a changing color pattern) whether the hit will be a home run.
Information will be presented using an on-screen graphic and will be stored for reference throughout the telecast. ESPN has displayed home run distances in the past, but this is the first time the information will be presented in real time.
(Click here for a demonstration of “Ball Track” technology. Note: this does not include the real-time distance application or the on-screen graphics).
Chris Berman will host the event, joined on the field by analysts Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips and reporter Erin Andrews. ESPN will utilize 20 cameras to capture the excitement of the Derby, including the use of “Ultra Mo,” a replay device recapping action at 1,000 frames per second. This is ESPN’s 12th consecutive year of live Derby coverage and 17th straight year overall. The Derby is traditionally one of ESPN’s highest-rated summer programs.
A special edition of Baseball Tonight, with host Karl Ravech, analysts John Kruk, Eduardo Perez and Chris Singleton, and reporters Peter Gammons and Tim Kurkjian, will be televised at 7 p.m.
ESPN Radio’s Dan Shulman and Dave Campbell will describe the Derby, with on-field reports from Peter Pascarelli. For the third consecutive year, ESPN360.com will provide a live simulcast of the event. For the first time, ESPN Mobile TV will also provide a live simulcast.
Ernesto Jerez will call the Derby for ESPN Deportes with analyst Candy Maldonado and on-field reporters Guillermo Celis and Carolina Guillén. ESPN Deportes’ Beisbol Esta Noche, with host Fernando Alvarez and analyst Eduardo Perez – plus reports by Guillén and Carlos Baerga from St. Louis – will preview the event at 7:30 p.m.
ESPN has been airing a marketing campaign – “Who will own the night?” – leading up to the State Farm Home Run Derby.
2009 Taco Bell Legends and Celebrity Softball Game
Immediately following the State Farm Home Run Derby on Monday, July 13, ESPN and ESPN HD will present the 2009 Taco Bell Legends and Celebrity Softball Game. Gary Thorne will call the game with analyst Rick Sutcliffe and reporter Erin Andrews. In addition to Monday’s ESPN telecast (July 13), fans will have an opportunity to see the game live via ESPN360.com on Sunday, July 12, at 4 p.m.
Legends will include Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Bruce Sutter, both former Cardinals, Dave Winfield (ESPN analyst), Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage and Ernie Banks; Cardinals legends Lee Smith, Vince Coleman and Whitey Herzog; plus Tommy John and Fred Lynn. Celebrities scheduled to participate include Ashanti (Grammy Award-winning artist), Carl Edwards (NASCAR driver), Jenna Fischer (The Office), Ginuwine (R&B artist), Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Shawn Johnson (Olympic champion), Nelly (Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter), Billy Bob Thornton (actor) and more.
ESPN Radio Mike & Mike in the Morning co-hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will also participate. Mike & Mike will originate from St. Louis’ downtown Keener Plaza (Mon.-Tues., 6-10 a.m.), which was the site of the Cardinals’ and Rams’ championship victory parties and has a view of the Gateway Arch.
XM All-Star Futures Game
The networks’ All-Star coverage will begin with the 2009 XM All-Star Futures Game Sunday, July 13, at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN2, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV. Gary Thorne will call the game with analysts Rick Sutcliffe and Peter Gammons and reporter Erin Andrews. ESPN Deportes will also televise the Futures Game live, with Ernesto Jerez (play-by-play), analyst Candy Maldonado and reporter Guillermo Celis.
80th MLB All-Star Game on ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio
ESPN Radio (7:45 p.m.) and ESPN Deportes Radio (8 p.m.) will broadcast the 80th All-Star Game Tuesday, July 14. ESPN Radio’s Dan Shulman will call the game with analyst Dave Campbell, with Marc Kestecher serving as on-site host. Peter Pascarelli and John Rooney, the voice of the St. Louis Cardinals, will serve as on-field reporters. Shulman and Campbell have worked the All-Star Game and Derby together for eighth consecutive seasons. ESPN Radio will broadcast All-Star Specials Monday, June 13, and Tuesday, June 14, from 4- 8 p.m. with co-hosts Orestes Destrade and Jon Seibel.
Eduardo Ortega will call the game for ESPN Deportes Radio with Hall of Famer Juan Marichal and analyst Renato Bermudez. Jose Francisco Rivera will serve as on-field reporter.
ESPN International will offer live coverage of the All-Star Game and Futures Game on its networks serving Latin America (South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean), Africa, the Middle East and New Zealand. Coverage of the Derby on Monday at 8 p.m. will also be available in these regions, plus Australia. ESPN AMERICA, the only European network dedicated to North American sports, will broadcast the All-Star Game, Futures Game and State Farm Home Run Derby to 43 countries throughout Europe.
SportsCenter & Baseball Tonight All-Star Coverage
The 6 p.m. SportsCenter on Monday and Tuesday will present live batting practice reports and previews from the State Farm Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, respectively, while the late-night SportsCenters will provide live post-Derby and post-game analysis and interviews. Chris Berman will anchor the post All-Star game SportsCenter, with Karl Ravech anchoring all other SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight coverage. Analysts will include Peter Gammons, John Kruk, Tim Kurkjian, Eduardo Perez, Steve Phillips and Chris Singleton. Baseball Tonight will provide highlights, news and information related to the Derby Monday, July 13, at midnight (9 p.m. PT) and the All-Star Game Tuesday, July 14, at 1 a.m. (10 p.m. PT).
ESPNEWS will provide live coverage of Monday’s All-Star Game press conference (11 a.m.) and State Farm Home Run Derby press conference (1:15 p.m.), along with the post-Derby press conference. On Tuesday, ESPNEWS will cover the pre- and post-game press conferences.
ESPN.com, ESPNDeportes.com, ESPN The Magazine and ESPNTheMag.com will also provide All-Star coverage.
ESPN.com’s MLB All-Star Game index page will include:
- New content daily July 9-14 featuring retrospective pieces on the All-Star Game through the years, news and analysis, and scouting reports;
- Reports by Jerry Crasnick, Jason Grey, Eric Karabell, Keith Law, Rob Neyer, Peter Pascarelli and Jayson Stark;
- Real-time coverage via a live All-Star blog and Twitter feed with contributions from ESPN writers and editors on site;
- Play-by-play home run tracker during the Derby;
- Live GameCast during the All-Star Game;
- SportsNation polls;
- Baseball Today podcast with hosts Karabell and Pascarelli;
- Coverage of the Derby and All-Star Game on a special Baseball Tonight Clubhouse page featuring Baseball Tonight Minute video;
- “Off Base” video pieces from Jim Caple in St. Louis;
- “SweetSpot” blog by Neyer, who will be blogging during the Derby and All-Star Game;
- Photo galleries and more.
ESPN Mobile Web
All-Star coverage across the ESPN Mobile Web and MVP application will allow users to follow the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game live directly on their mobile device via GameCast and a blog. An All-Star Hot Corner feature will provide interactive chats and polls.
ESPN Alerts will provide subscribers with in-progress and final result updates from the Futures Game, State Farm Home Run Derby and All-Star Game.
ESPN’s 20th Season of MLB Coverage
In its 20th season of MLB coverage, ESPN is the home of Sunday Night Baseball – the only exclusive, national game of the week, the State Farm Home Run Derby, weekly Monday and Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts, and Baseball Tonight. ESPN Radio continues to exclusively broadcast Sunday Night games, along with select games throughout the season, the MLB All-Star Game and Home Run Derby, and every postseason game through the World Series. Spanish-language ESPN Deportes televises all Sunday Night Baseball games. ESPN networks televised the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009.