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Home Run Derby: How Great Was Josh Hamilton In '08?

The 2011 Home Run Derby is set for Monday night, and it should be entertaining enough. Ever since I turned 14 or so, the Home Run Derby lost a lot of its luster, but it provides enough entertainment on a Monday with nothing else going on in the sports world. Still, it won't be as much of a spectacle as it was in 2008 thanks to Josh Hamilton - and I doubt it ever will be again.

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In case you've forgotten, or just weren't following baseball in 2008, Hamilton put on the best spectacle in Home Run Derby history at old Yankee Stadium. Hamilton belted 28 home runs in the first round, with three of them going further than 500 feet. Hamilton broke Bobby Abreu's first-round record of 24 (which was set in 2005), and it's likely that the 28 homers will stand as a record for awhile.

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Unfortunately, Hamilton didn't win the Derby, Justin Morneau did, but Hamilton gave Rangers fans and baseball fans a night to remember out of a silly exhibition. 

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Here's hoping that tonight's can be even half as entertaining as Hamilton was in 2008.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.