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Afp

Harper homer blitz bet backfires for Nationals

By AFP
media Bryce Harper won the Home Run Derby on July 16, 208, with 45 home runs, driving down ticket prices as part of a promotion by the Washington Nationals GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

Bryce Harper's electrifying victory in Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby may have delighted Washington Nationals fans but left the club's bean-counters counting the cost of an expensive gamble on Tuesday.

Nationals slugger Harper smashed a total of 45 home runs to win the event, the traditional warm-up attraction for Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game, which is also being staged at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

But while Harper's exhibition of big-hitting brought Nationals fans to their feet, club officials braced for a hit to the bottom line.

The Nationals had tweeted before Monday's derby that they would slice $1 (0.86 euros) off the price of tickets for every home run hit by Harper at five designated upcoming games.

With Harper sending 45 homers into the stands, that left some tickets on sale for as little as $1 by Tuesday.

Some fans reported the Nationals website crashed as it struggled to cope with rush of fans seeking to cash in on the offer.

The Nationals meanwhile appeared to take the offer in good spirit, making a public apology to the club's finance department on Twitter.

Players in the derby have four minutes to smack as many home runs as they can over the outfield walls in a knockout format, with bonus time earned for especially long blasts.

Harper defeated the Chicago Cubs' Kyle Schwarber in the final, scoring 19 homers to Schwarber's 18.

 
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