The A's slugger is growing accustomed to this kind of impact, and maybe he will be back next year in Cincinnati for a shot at a third straight Derby title. For all the changes in this event, including a new title sponsor and a redesigned, orange-skinned FlexBall added after the sixth out along with the new Derby format, it was still Cespedes on top and big cash for charity.
He contributed $160,000 of that all by himself. Each regular homer was $5,000. Each Flexball hit over the wall was $10,000. Cespedes hit 30 homers, one on a FlexBall.
All 10 participants teamed up to raise money for charity. With 82 total homers hit during the competition (including 11 FlexBall home runs worth $10,000 each), Gillette and Major League Baseball combined to raise $465,000 for charity. The funds will be distributed as follows:
• $50,000 to Cespedes' charity of choice for winning the competition
• $95,000 to Minneapolis Boys & Girls Club programs and MLB "Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities" (RBI) program
• $20,000 to the charities of choice for each of Cespedes' American League Derby teammates
• $25,000 to National League Captain Troy Tulowitzki's charity of choice, and the same amount for AL Captain Jose Bautista's charity of choice
• $8,000 to the charities of choice for each of the NL participants
•The balance of the funds raised will be split between RBI and Boys & Girls Clubs.
Nearly $4 million has been raised for charity over the past 11 years, including an all-time high of $615,000 donated in 2012.
"We at Gillette are thrilled to partner with Major League Baseball on such a great night," said Sonia Fife, North American general manager for Gillette. "It's a pleasure to be able to give this donation of $465,000 to such worthy charities, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as RBI. And on top of that, to be able to celebrate the launch of our new razor from Gillette with FlexBall technology. So it was a great night for everyone."
"Obviously we're thrilled with the support that we get to the charities like RBI and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, that we're the beneficiaries of Gillette Home Run Derby's efforts," said David James, MLB executive director of RBI. "It just allows us to continue and grow our impact."
Miami's Giancarlo Stanton bowed out with a shutout second round, but he showed his true impact in the first round, nearly knocking his last homer out of the ballpark. It was about five rows short of clearing Target Field.
"That was the charity ball, too," Stanton said. "You never know how those are going to fly. It's tough to pick those up as well, so that's definitely cool."
Oh, by the way: There's already a Stanton Home Run Derby game-used ball up for grabs at the MLB.com Auction.
Tulowitzki said he designated his charity funds to the other starting All-Star shortstop who also wears No. 2: Derek Jeter and his Turn 2 Foundation. The Yankees' captain will make his final All-Star appearance on Tuesday night on the same field.
"Yeah, it was to honor him," the Rockies' star said. "He's a guy I look up to. What little I can do, I try."
While Gillette was a new title sponsor for the event, it was part of a continuation of a long friendship with the national pastime.
"Gillette has such a long history with sports," Fife said. "Nowhere is that showcased better than our 75-year partnership with Major League Baseball, so we're thrilled to be the title sponsor today. It certainly brings together the years we have had together working with MLB."
At the start of Cespedes' victory news conference, Fife reached into a bag and pulled out a gift that she presented to the winner. It was a three-year supply of Gillette shaving products, including a special-edition new FlexBall razor.
Fife said she walked around the ballpark looking for any of these commemorative balls for sale, realizing that they disappeared from vendors quickly. They are available at the MLB.com Shop. She had two in her hand and they each were signed by Cespedes.
"The FlexBall was a great partnership with Major League Baseball," Fife said. "When you think about baseball and the maximum contact that was needed for Yoenis to win tonight, very similar to the maximum contact our new FlexBall razor makes to provide the very best shave. So we're really thrilled with tonight."