Now Commenting On:

Mr. October offers his take on Derby

Mr. October offers his take on Derby

NEW YORK -- It is not unusual for players invited to participate in the State Farm Home Run Derby to decline, citing concerns about swinging for the fences sabotaging their regular swings.

They are afraid of falling into the type of swing which Reggie Jackson brought to the plate every time, the kind of wide-arcing uppercut which turned each of the Hall of Fame outfielder's at-bats into an adventure.

Asked during Monday afternoon's All-Star workout whether he would like to have participated in one of these modern Derby productions, Jackson didn't hesitate.

"Heck, yes, I would've loved it. I always swung for the downs anyway," said the once-and-forever Mr. October, who smoked 563 career home runs plus 18 in the postseason, including 10 World Series clouts. "I think I might've had a chance."

Now a special consultant in the Yankees' front office, Jackson had a ready response when asked to predict the winner of the Home Run Derby that would soon start.

"[Chase] Utley!" Jackson said enthusiastically. "I like Chase Utley. He's a great athlete with a great swing. I think he's being overlooked in this, and I like his chances of sneaking in. He's a solid home run hitter."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español