Travis Snider Wins Home Run Derby
New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ own Travis Snider, a budding star at age 20, defeated Bowie’s Luis Montanez in the Eastern League Irving Oil Home Run Derby, and the Northern Division won, 5-3, before a record 8,762 fans along the Merrimack River.
Snider flicked a switch that began an electric night. The kid bashed homers onto the train tracks beyond right field and pulled a Roy Hobbs with a shot into the bulbs atop the light tower.
As a heavy favorite in his home park, Snider barely advanced out of the first round as six sluggers took their hacks. In later rounds, including a couple tie-breakers, he sent vapor trails over the right-field wall. The 5-foot-11, 245-pounder had the benefit of his own batting practice pitcher, Ken Joyce, who fed The Franchise (the nickname Fisher Cats fans have given to Snider – must not have heard of Vernon Wells) a diet of waist-high fastballs.
Snider, Toronto’s No. 1 prospect, homered four straight times in the second round and finished with 10 dingers. In the finals, Snider toppled the league’s leading home run hitter, 7-6.
“The young legend keeps growing,” Fisher Cats manager Gary Cathcart said. “He understood that whole scenario, how it was going to unfold being the hometown guy. It took him a couple rounds to get going, but it was almost like he started doing it because he knew he was going to do it. He’s just one of those guys. Think about it. Three years from now, he’ll have five years of pro ball, and he’ll be in the big leagues at 23.” Snider pocketed $1,000 cash and fan Jerry Salvucci of Litchfield received a $500 gas card, courtesy of Irving Oil.
During the second round of the Eastern League home run derby, Travis Snider crushed a ball that sailed over the wall in right field. It slammed into the lights, which are 360 feet away from home plate and 100 feet above the playing field.
The record crowd of 8,227 at Merchantsauto.com Field at first gasped then erupted in cheers for their hometown hero.
“That guy has some pop,” Yankee prospect Austin Jackson said with a smirk on his face. “He can hit.”
Fisher Cats teammate Scott Campbell dropped down to his knees and waved his arms as if to say, “We’re not worthy!”