Huntsville’s McKay Feels at Home in Contest
OK, so maybe you can go home.
Cody McKay, promoted to double-A Huntsville two weeks ago by the Oakland A’s, returned to Class-A Tuesday to appear in the California League All-Star Game.
His first order of business was winning the pregame home run contest.
The left-handed hitting catcher won a one-swing tiebreaker over Visalia’s Duane Filchner and collected $50.
He hit 10 home runs in the first round, six in the second and one in the third before launching a ball over the right-field wall on his final swing.
McKay, 24, is expected to rejoin the Modesto A’s for the second half of the season.
Filchner, 25, quickly became the sentimental favorite of the night.
The designated hitter announced earlier this week that he would retire after the all-star game to take a position in the athletic department of his alma mater, Radford University in Virginia.
Filchner, who hit only two home runs during the first half, hit 12 in 22 swings in the first round.
Filchner finished with 19 home runs, more than any other hitter, but the scoring started over each round.
Two members of Valley Division first-half champion San Jose won the other competitions.
Michael Byas captured the baserunning challenge, going from second to home in 6.58 seconds.
Juan Dilone was the only one of six competitors to hit a target at the plate and won the outfield throwing competition.
The game began with Freeway Division Manager Tony DeFrancesco of Visalia still awaiting news from Mesa, Ariz., where his wife, Adriene, was three days overdue to give birth to the couple’s first child.
The JetHawks were represented by more players and coaches than any other team in the California League.