Minor league HR derby set for retired carrier's deck

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Class A Lake Elsinore Storm will host a home run hitting contest on the flight deck of the USS Midway aircraft carrier on San Diego Bay on June 20.

The competition will be the day before the California-Carolina League All-Star Game at Lake Elsinore.

Four sluggers from the California League and four from the Carolina League will compete in single-elimination, head-to-head matchups in which the player with the most home run points advances through three rounds of the competition. Each player gets 15 swings per round.

Volunteers on standup paddle boards and jet skis will collect the balls before they sink.

Dave Oster, named minor league executive of the year last year, said he got the idea from the South Atlantic League's Charleston RiverDogs, who held a home run derby on the USS Yorktown in June 2012.

"It's something different. It's totally minor league baseball, but something unique and edgy and a little bit off the wall," Oster said.

Oster stepped down as Storm president late last year but still has a minority ownership stake and is involved in other ways. He is now running his own events and marketing company.

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