8/19/2017 -- The Orioles celebrated playing 25 years at Camden Yards Saturday night, but lost to the Angels, 5-1. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun)
Brady Anderson was everybody's pick to win the Camden Yards 25th anniversary Home Run Derby on Saturday night, and he didn't disappoint.
Anderson, 53, won the first round with a home run onto the flag court and five other shots that traveled more than 300 feet for a total of eight points. Former Orioles first baseman Sam Horn, 53,also moved into the final round with six points, all accumulated on two big homers onto the flag court.
Chris Hoiles also hit one out of the park, but he, Mike Devereaux and Joe Orsulak were eliminated in the first round.
Anderson outdid Horn, 5-4, in the championship round.
"I think it is one of the most fun events," said Anderson, who participated in the 1996 and 1997 All-Star Home Run Derbies in Philadephia and Cleveland. "I liked doing it in Japan. I liked doing it when we had the Hall of Fame Game and I went up against [José] Canseco in that one. It's a little sad that they had to bring in the fences, but it's all right."
Horn had predicted during Friday's 25th anniversary media availability that he would prevail, but the smart money was always on Anderson, who still occasionally takes batting practice and hits in simulated games with the major league club.
Good friends Anderson and Cal Ripken Jr. jokingly sparred over the event Friday, with Ripken accusing Anderson of setting up the derby so he could win it. Anderson, asked earlier if Ripken had been invited to take part in the competition, said Ripken wasn't "good enough to be in the derby."
Anderson denied having any involvement in the organization of the event, claiming that he heard about it from his daughter a few days ago and she told him not to come home without the trophy.
"No, I didn't," he said. "I would have, but I just didn't know about it. I'll be happy to set up the 50th anniversary."
Shortstop J.J. Hardy, currently on the disabled list for a broken bone in his right wrist, continued to take on-field batting practice Saturday. Manager Buck Showalter said he hopes Hardy could begin a minor league rehabilitation assignment early next week. Hardy hasn't played since June 18.
"It's been a long road for him," Showalter said. "He's worked real hard. I'm telling you, it's been a lot of work he and Bobby [Dickerson] have gone through to get back to this point where he can go out. So whenever we get him back, it will be a great addition."
Still, the timetable for Hardy's return is unclear, but he is eyeing being ready for September. Showalter said Hardy, who turned 35 on Saturday, could be back sooner, but since the veteran hasn't played since mid-June he might need significant game reps before returning.
"Who knows — he could be down there four or five days and here we go because anytime you can add a J.J. Hardy, you do it if he's ready," Showalter said. "It's been a long time down. I'm not sure if he'll go out the first of the week. We're hoping."
Shortstop Tim Beckham entered Saturday hitting .479 in 17 games since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays. Showalter initially said Hardy would be the starting shortstop when he returns, but said Saturday that the decision would be made when Hardy is back.
"As always, I'm going to take [advantage] of both of their skills and do what's best," Showalter said. "When he gets here, we'll see where we are. I think everybody in the clubhouse, including Tim, is looking forward to getting J.J. back. It's been a long haul without him.