07/14/2003 9:51 PM ET
Sexson gets one homer in Derby
Sexson highlights: 56k | 300k
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Most players will tell you that U.S. Cellular Field is not a home run hitters' park, especially when the wind is blowing in toward home plate.
Milwaukee first baseman Richie Sexson found out for himself Monday night just how tough it can be to go yard on the south side of Chicago when he was eliminated in the first round of the Century 21 Home Run Derby.
"I wish I could have done better, but it was a lot of fun to be a part of this," said Sexson, the final addition to the National League Home Run Derby team of four. "I just wasn't able to drive the ball like I wanted."
Sexson made it to the second round in the 2002 event, held at Milwaukee's Miller Park, when he hit 10 homers and finished fourth overall. It wasn't to be this time, as only Seattle's Bret Boone, who was blanked in the first round, hit fewer homers than Sexson. But Sexson was in good company. Besides Boone, Toronto's Carlos Delgado and Atlanta's Gary Sheffield were also eliminated in the first round.
"If I had [to get eliminated in the first round], I'm glad it happened here instead in front of the home fans in my home park," Sexson said. "That would have been a little embarrassing."
Sexson made seven outs -- a competitor gets 10 outs in the first round -- before he hit his first and only homer of the evening, a long drive to left center. He hit one other ball to deep center field, but it was caught on the warning track for the ninth out of his round. His other hits were ground balls, popups or line drives.
Still, Sexson has no complaints.
"Not at all, this was a lot of fun," he said. "Hitting home runs is not the easiest thing to do, especially when you're trying to hit them."
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.