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Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Third time’s a charm”? Well, WCJM hasn’t!! On the third try doing a homerun derby show, the last part of the last inning was never recorded!! Jim originally put the show to be recorded in mono to get more time out of one MiniDisc. However, when the opening music was played over a portable CD player, Alberto accidentally skipped the song, making them do the intro once again. On the second try, Mike accidentally skipped the music, making them do it a third time! The third intro went off without a hitch–so they thought. Because of Jim having to stop the recording twice, the MiniDisc recorder reverted back to stereo recording, allowing only 74:56 on the MiniDisc. Thus, the show was cut off half way through the third inning! This show was done on June 30, 2001, just a few days after the original cast got out of school for the summer. The last part of the third inning, which included Jeff and “Dave’s” at bats, was then re-recorded on July 7, 2001 right before the Basketball Challenge Show. This tournament was done on an extremely hot and humid day (that can’t be good for the electronics) but spirits were high and the cast was “cool” as they popped the homeruns over the fence! Well, almost everyone… There were three announcers at one time, a pitcher, a catcher, and (of course) a batter. A special microphone was set up so you can hear “The Sounds of the Game” such as Jim hitting a homerun or Chris whiffing at a fastball. There were more homeruns hit on this show than the other two shows combined, and with successful mixing, this show might actually be decent enough to listen to!
(Jeff almost took Chris’ head off in the third inning!)
The rules were as follows: Three outs per person, full at bats. An out counts as anything that’s not a homerun that lies in fair territory or a strikeout. If the ball hits either the first or third base tree markers, the ball is out. Slow pitching, but special pitches are allowed. Three innings are played with every batter getting three outs and Dr. K getting his own small turn at bat. A homerun counts if the ball gets stuck in or goes over the homerun line of trees (seen in the background in the picture above). Highest score wins! Let’s see how each player did…
Shown above is one of the only fly balls Chris hit the whole game. But what did you expect? The poor host only plays about once a year… Chris was struck out by Jim on multiple occasions, but during batting practice and even during the game he came close to getting a homerun. Thus, his homerun total was zero. But, we let the host bat first, and the game wouldn’t be the same without him. At least we got his radio skills out of it!
Jim was just like the day: hot! The undisputed winner of the last Homerun Derby Challenge, Jim took home the title again this year with five big ones! One of the advantages Jim got in the game was the fact that he was able to face his brother Mike’s pitching, which he has gotten used to these past fifteen years. Jim also struck out Chris a few times pitching, which isn’t saying much, but all around, it was a great day for Jim. He also kept the radio show moving while announcing and added his years of experience listening to the Mets on the radio to his broadcasting.
(Mike swinging for the fences!)
Coming in second place was Mike with a very respectable three homeruns! The picture above just happened to be taken while Mike was hitting one of those homeruns and you can see by that “baseball card” stance that the ball went a country mile out into center field! Mike added his usual comedy to the show while playing a good game and umpiring while Jim pitched. It’s a great thing Mike was on the show to give Jim some competition!
Alberto ranks in the same category as Chris when it comes to experience in baseball/whiffleball, but as you can see by his windup and batting stance, he catches on quickly! Everyone knew it would only be a matter of time before Alb skyrocketed one out of the park, and on the third show, he finally proved us all correct. The picture on the left was actually taken as Alberto hit that homerun! If it wasn’t for Dave’s pitching, Alberto may have hit more, but he proved that you can’t count him out until the short little guy sings! His great calling of the game also enhanced the show and it’s a rare moment when you hear Alberto talk on the morning show as it is! Alberto contributed so much to this show that it no longer can be said that the only sport he knows about is soccer!
Although Dave had some moments broadcasting, it was an off day for him at the plate. As you can see in the picture above, Dave swung, and there’s no ball in sight! Dave was blanked in the homerun category, but one more than one occasion, he gave the announcing team a burst of hope. His great pitching kept Alberto to only one “dinger” and his presence on the show was a great one- even if he didn’t put one “into orbit”!
Last, but not least, was Jeff. Now considered one of the full cast (plus Matt) Jeff became a force to be reckoned with after winning the first homerun derby by getting the only homerun and coming in second to Jim during the last show. This show, however, in the first two innings Jeff was plagued by Chris’ terrible pitching and only got one good ball to send airmail out of the park. Jeff’s pitching, on the other hand, was amazing, holding Dave (a potential threat) down to Earth. In the third inning, Jim took the ball against him and Jeff blasted one to right center field for his second homerun of the game. As you can see by his intensity not only on the mound but at bat as well, Jeff was considered one of the favorites going into the game. But, if homeruns didn’t come easy for Jeff, his great style of announcing kept the ballgame going and will keep the fans in it for the entire three innings.
Going through ten whiffleballs in the span of three innings is a feat not any radio show can accomplish. But WCJM has done it, and you can be part of the action by listening to the Homerun Derby Challenge!