Home Run Derby To Be Held Friday

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The third annual Home Run Derby, sponsored by the Payson Parks and Recreation Department and the Mazatzal Casino, will tee off at 6 p.m. July 21 on the Rumsey II ball field.

Newly appointed town recreation coordinator Mary McMullen believes there could be some confusion as to the date for the popular event.

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The Payson Home Run Derby will test local softball players and their hitting power.

"We had mistakenly advertised incorrect dates around some of the ball fields and wanted to make sure the correct information got to the Roundup as soon as possible," she said.

To enter, all teams must register at the Parks and Rec office located at Green Valley Park by 5 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday.

The entry fee is $45 and entrants must be at least 21 years old.

When entering, each team must designate a non-profit organization of their choice to which they would like derby prize money to be donated.

The prizes are:

  • $500 for first place
  • $350 for second place
  • $100 for third place

Last year, donations went to the Lady Longhorn softball team, Payson Humane Society, Payson Rotary and D.A.R.E.

The Hot Ice One team of Molly Hunt, Marci Sanders and Melody Deaton won the women's division by slugging 37 home runs.

The Two-Eighty-Six trio of Chad Martin, Jason Schwein and Greg Boyer won the men's division with 29 home runs.

This year, all players will receive a T-shirt and trophies will be awarded to the top three teams in each division.

The rules

The derby will feature both men's and women's divisions. For the women, the home run fence will be moved in to 200 feet from home plate. For the men, a home run is one hit over the regulation Rumsey II fence.

Also, the women will hit an 11-inch softball, commonly used in most recreation leagues. The men will hit a 12-inch softball.

Hitters will supply their own pitchers. Pitches must be underhand and with an arch of 6 to 12 feet above the ground.

The good news for power hitters is that all bats are legal.

Which means, the high-dollar bats that are banned in ASA play can be used. Among those bats are the Worth Wicked, Easton Synergy Plus, Ultra and Ultra 2.

Those bats -- which can cost more than $300 -- send balls farther and with more velocity because some are built with a combination of fiberglass and graphite and others are double-wall titanium.

"There is no such thing as an illegal bat in this," recreation leader Charlene Hunt said. "And we won't be using restricted flight softballs -- they can bring their .50 core balls, which are illegal in most tournaments."

The tournament will begin with an opening round in which entrants are given 15 pitches. In the second round, they receive 10 pitches.

After the home runs for each team are calculated, the top four teams from both rounds will advance to the finals.

In the final round, each team begins with a zero score and players receive 15 pitches each.

In case of ties, a sudden death one-pitch tiebreaker will be used. For more information, call McMullen at (928) 474-5242, ext. 7.

RMEF fest set

The Payson Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will host its annual fund-raiser banquet, auction and raffle July 29 at Mazatzal Casino. The evening tips off at 4:30 p.m. with a no-host cocktail hour during which attendees can browse through the many items that will later be raffled, sold and auctioned.

The dinner -- filet mignon, chicken or vegetarian -- will be served at 6 p.m. and the festivities begin immediately afterward.

Former Arizona State University and Green Bay Packer football star Shawn Patterson will serve as master of ceremonies.

Tickets, priced at $80 per single or $125 a couple, can be purchased from any RMEF member or by calling Drew Justice at (928) 472-6891 or Phil Daugherty at (928) 478-4458.

The price also includes a one-year membership in RMEF and a subscription to Bugle Magazine.

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