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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.

Continue reading below

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

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

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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