Engel to host Southern League Home Run Derby

Engel to host Southern League Home Run Derby

January 24th, 2014 by David Paschall in Sportlocal

A banner welcoming guests is displayed at Engel Stadium in this 2012 file photo.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

The Southern League All-Star Game will be held at AT&T Field in June, but the league's Home Run Derby has been set for historic Engel Stadium.

Engel Stadium, which was used in the spring of 2012 for the filming of the motion picture "42," has not housed Double-A baseball since the Lookouts moved to AT&T Field following the 1999 season. Engel should provide quite a challenge for Derby participants, with its 471-foot distance from home plate to straightaway center dwarfing the 400-foot distance at AT&T.

Lookouts president and general manager Rich Mozingo would neither confirm nor deny Engel hosting the Home Run Derby. The Lookouts, however, have scheduled a news conference at AT&T Field this afternoon at 2.

The Southern League All-Star Game has not been held in Chattanooga since 2004, when Lookouts first baseman Jesse Gutierrez won MVP honors. Engel Stadium hosted the event in 1977, when the Southern League All-Stars won 6-4 over the Atlanta Braves, and again in 1990.

The MVP of the 1977 game was Montgomery second baseman Lou Whitaker, who went on to record 2,369 hits, 244 home runs and 143 stolen bases in 19 seasons with the Detroit Tigers.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524.