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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.

    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

    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.