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All-Star Game

Mookie Betts will compete in the Home Run Derby

First Dodger in the event in four years

Dodgers vs Astros Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Now that Mookie Betts is officially named an All-Star, voted by fans to start in the National League outfield in results announced on Thursday, the Dodgers outfielder will check off another box — participating in his first Home Run Derby.

Betts first revealed on MLB Network on June 18 that he would take part in the derby if he made the All-Star team, which was a virtual certainty considering he’s now made the All-Star team the last seven times there’s been a midsummer classic.

Last weekend, Betts told Juan Toribio of, “My wife kind of compared it to [NBA superstar LeBron James] not doing the dunk contest. And that’s not a knock or anything, but she just feels like for what I’m trying to do in baseball, bring awareness to Black culture, I should probably be more involved.”

Betts leads the Dodgers with 20 home runs this season, with the season not quite one half over. He set a career high with 35 home runs last season.

This year, Betts entered Thursday tied for fourth in the National League and sixth in the majors with those 20 home runs.

On Thursday, after All-Star starters were revealed, with Betts joined in the National League lineup by first baseman Freddie Freeman and designated hitter J.D. Martinez, Betts talked to reporters at Coors Field in Denver.

“I’m 5’9, 170 pounds. I don’t think that many guys my size win the Home Run Derby,” Betts told reporters, as shown on SportsNet LA. “When I told my mom, she wasn’t too thrilled. She told me, ‘I didn’t raise you to come in last.’ So the goal now is not to come in last.”

So far, three of the eight participants in the Home Run Derby are known. Julio Rodríguez of the host Seattle Mariners was the first announced for the event, on June 23, and Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — a 2019 Home Run Derby runner-up — was confirmed Thursday for the homer barrage.

Betts is the first Dodger to take part in the Home Run Derby since Joc Pederson in 2019.

Betts said Dodgers first base coach Clayton McCullough will be his pitcher in the derby, per Toribio.