Orioles SS Gunnar Henderson is the 1st participant in this year’s Home Run Derby

Baltimore Orioles' Gunnar Henderson watches his grand slam against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)(AP/Nick Wass)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Gunnar Henderson is headed to the Home Run Derby.

Major League Baseball said on social media Sunday night that the Baltimore shortstop was the first player in the competition after he confirmed his participation. Around the same time, the announcement went up on the scoreboard at Camden Yards as Henderson came up to bat in the third inning against Texas.

“Watching it as a kid growing up, just obviously something that seemed like it’d be pretty cool, and to have that opportunity is pretty special,” Henderson said. “So I’m looking forward to it.”

After winning AL Rookie of the Year honors last season, Henderson is an MVP candidate this year for the AL East-leading Orioles. He has 26 homers, tied for second in the major leagues behind Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees.

Henderson also leads the majors with eight leadoff homers, five behind Alfonso Soriano’s big league record.

The derby is July 15, part of All-Star festivities at Globe Life Field in Texas.


AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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