One of the most talked-about items during this year's All-Star Game festivities at Comerica Park has been the gold balls that were swapped in every time a batter was down to his final out during Monday night's CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby.
During the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby, each batter has 10 "outs" in each of three possible rounds. The Golden Home Run Ball was used for every pitch after each batter's ninth out.
Major League Baseball and CENTURY 21 together donated $294,000 to charities as a result of the Golden Home Run Balls being knocked out of the park 14 times. The charities -- including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the official charity of Major League Baseball, and Easter Seals, the official charity of CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC -- received $21,000 for each Golden Home Run Ball that resulted in a home run.
On Monday night, Carlos Lee, representing Panama from the Milwaukee Brewers, hit out three Golden Home Run Balls in the first round, earning the first $63,000 for charity.Ivan Rodriguez had four on the night for a cool $84,000. Home Run Derby champ Bobby Abreu had three. David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox star from the Dominican Republic, also hit three. And Andruw Jones, a member of the Atlanta Braves and representative of the Netherlands, added one more.
Rawlings, Major League Baseball's official supplier of baseballs, designed and created the baseball, which has a cover consisting of one sheath in gold and one in traditional white stitched together.
Maybe you were lucky enough to sit in the home-run seats at Comerica and catch one. For everyone else, there is the MLB.com Shop, where the limited-edition baseballs exclusively went on sale Sunday morning.
Each ball costs $49.95, and a portion of the profits will be donated to the charities listed above.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. MLB.com national reporter Barry M. Bloom contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.