Sports

Can Yoenis Cespedes break the Home Run Derby curse?

Yoenis Cespedes won the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.

Jae C. Hong/AP

Yoenis Cespedes won the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.

Athletics slugger Yoenis Cespedes this season became the first player to win the Home Run Derby despite not being selected to the All-Star Game.

His next challenge: Beat the so-called Derby curse and become the ninth champion since the event began in 1985 to hit more homers after the All-Star break than he did before.The early signs aren’t encouraging.

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Cespedes, who hit 15 homers in the first half, hadn’t homered in his 19 games before the All-Star break and missed the first four games after it with a sore wrist.

The studs

Eight champions who hit more homers after the break:

Ryan Howard, Phillies 2006

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Before 28; After 30 (58)

Sammy Sosa, Cubs 2000

Before 23; After: 27 (50)

Andre Dawson, Cubs 1987

Before 24; After 25 (49)

Prince Fielder, Brewers 2009

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Before 22; After 24 (46)

Miguel Tejada, A’s 2004

Before 15; After 19 (34)

Eric Davis, Reds 1989

Before 16; After 18 (34)

Ruben Sierra, Rangers 1989

Before 14; After 15 (29)

Darryl Strawberry, Mets 1986

Before 13; After 14 (27)

The duds

Five Derby champions who hit fewer than 10 home runs after the All-Star break:

Wally Joyner, Angels 1986

Before break 20; After break 2 (Total: 22)

Bobby Abreu, Phillies 2005

Before 18; After 6 (24)

Garret Anderson, Angels 2003

Before 22; After 7 (29)

Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners 1994

Before 33; After 7 (40)

(Note: Season ended after only 24 games following the All-Star break because of a strike)

Justin Morneau, Twins 2008

Before 14; After 9 (23)

***

Note: Joyner and Strawberry (1986) and Davis and Sierra (1989) were co-champions.

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