In 1999, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was just a hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies. Before his time as manager of the National League-winning Rockies and the current NL Central-leading Pirates, he was just a hitting coach that got invited by Larry Walker to throw for him during the 1999 MLB Home Run Derby.
In a story told to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review, Hurdle told about that day that became much more than an average BP session.
After Walker was eliminated in the first round with only two home runs, Jeff Bagwell asked Hurdle if he could throw to him. Then Jeromy Burnitz did. Then so did Ken Griffey Jr.
"We go to the second round, and I have three of the four guys in the round," Hurdle said. "I threw to all them. The last two guys? Griffey and Burnitz."
Without any Pirates in the 2012 Home Run Derby, Hurdle will probably watch this year's event from home. But maybe that's for the best.
"I threw 180-some pitches," Hurdle said. "I was there for 21⁄2 hours! I walked off the mound exhausted and dripping wet."
For more on the Pittsburgh Pirates, make sure to visit Bucs Dugout. Still not enough baseball for you? Head over to Baseball Nation for all the latest news from all 30 MLB teams and the MLB All-Star Game.