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July 11, 2005

Bobby Abreu

John Greenleaf

Edwin Molina

Jay Stenhouse


JAY STENHOUSE: Thank you very much. Welcome to the 2005 Century 21 Home Run Derby press conference. Before we take questions, I would like to introduce you to the members of the dais. Bobby Abreu of the Philadelphia Phillies, the 2005 Century 21 Home Run Derby champion; Mr. Edwin Molina of long upon Pennsylvania, who is the winner of the Century 21 Home Run Derby All-Star sweepstakes who tonight won $250,000 towards a new home, thanks to Bobby Abreu and courtesy of Century 21. Representing Century 21 is Mr. John Greenleaf, the senior vice president of marketing of Century 21. We'll now proceed to get questions.

Q. Bobby, that was a pretty amazing show; what got into you? What possessed you?

BOBBY ABREU: Nothing really. I think the inspiration of the show, being the Home Run Derby, I think that's something that I never expected, to be here, it's a dream come true. When I was there, hitting the homers and home runs, I had a lot of inspiration, just trying to put the best show and I did it. It was something amazing and I was just happy about it.

Q. It was kind of a different atmosphere today with the Home Run Derby, representing the different countries. What was that like for you and how much of the national pride went into what inspired you and the atmosphere, with all of the flag-waving and all of that encouragement, what was that like for you?

BOBBY ABREU: I think it's exciting with all of the countries getting together, and they showed the emotion, they show they always stay together. So I think it's something that the people have to be like that. You know, we all have to stay together, no matter what country we are, we always have to be together. You see a lot of people, you see players over there trying to just do the job, but the main thing is we're all together. No matter what country we represent, we are always going to be together in trying to help one another.

Q. How does it feel to not only win the Home Run Derby, but also win for a lucky fan, $250,000 towards a new home from Century 21? That's just incredible?

BOBBY ABREU: I feel happy about him, he gets a new house in one day in the Home Run Derby. I think besides I get the trophy, I just feel more emotion, too, because I help more people to get the house. I think it means more for me.

Q. Specifically can you talk about that feeling when you're in that groove, what it feels like as you were in that first round, just talk about that feeling?

BOBBY ABREU: I was feeling great. (Laughter.) I was feeling so good, I can't really believe what I was doing in the first round. I was like, you know, get a good rhythm, I was so excited about it. I just wanted to hit some more. It happened and it was something that it's tough to believe.

Q. Comerica Park is such a huge park, were you trying to pull the ball to maximize your power?

BOBBY ABREU: You know what, I don't really try to pull the ball. I was trying to go in the gap, and when the balls get close to me, when I hit it, I don't really hit it to the gap. I was focusing, you know, go to the gap, but I really hit it to right field. So if I'm trying to pull it, I was going to go toward the line, so that was my concentration, that's what I was really wanting to do over there.

Q. Do you think you wore the fans out? They really weren't cheering as much at the end as they were at the beginning there.

BOBBY ABREU: Exciting, yeah. I think the fans like it. They came here to see the show. It's not just me, all of the guys put the show over there, so I think it's all about the Home Run Derby, and the fans, they get excited and I think it's part of the day, part of the Home Run Derby.

Q. You have some family here to night; can you talk about doing it in front of them, and do you have any hits left for tomorrow?

BOBBY ABREU: Well, yeah, my family is here, my mother is in the stands and my brother, he's right there with me, he always be with me in the All-Star Game last year, this year, too. He's trying to, you know, just help me every time. Yeah, I think I've got a little for tomorrow. I've got to get rest tonight and tomorrow is going to be a new day.

Q. Are you especially proud that you shattered the record so badly in a park that is supposed to be a pitcher's park, and two, what did you think of Pudge's performance?

BOBBY ABREU: Well, you know, I feel happy and I feel proud to myself to beat the record, but I never thought about that. I just came here, you know, just trying to hit homers. It never crossed my mind to break the records. But it happened, something that you never expected, but it came. About Pudge, I mean, he do a pretty good job. I think the last round he got a little tense, a lot of pressure on himself. He did a good job. He put a lot of show for the people of Detroit.

Q. As you were watching the derby, you were watching Bobby's performance? How were you feeling round by round as the derby went on?

EDWIN MOLINA: In the first round when he started hitting, I figured 11 will get me into the second round, but he just kept hitting them. And I started wondering, I thought he was going to wear himself out, but the second round he got six, and it kind of worried me with David Ortiz coming up. But I'm here, so I'm happy.

Q. Bobby, how big was Ramon, and was he on a pitch count? (Laughter.)

BOBBY ABREU: Ramon, he's big. He's big right now. I mean, he's going to get huge. He's been with me, you know, since '98 and I think he deserves it. He's one of the good guys and he's been with me pretty much my whole career, so I feel happy for him and I know he's excited about it, too.

Q. John, I'd like to ask you what the Gold Ball meant tonight, the whole event and I also want to ask Bobby what it felt like to face two-tone baseballs coming at you.

JOHN GREENLEAF: The gold ball was new this year as you know and as a result of the gold ball which was available for players to hit when they had nine outs we raised nearly $300,000 that Easter Seals and the Boys and Girls Clubs will share. So it was a wonderful addition. We think it put a little bit of added excitement in the event and $300,000 for two very worthy causes, one of which Century 21 has supported more than 30 years.

BOBBY ABREU: It was very different, you know, when you see the white ball came to you, but when you see the gold ball came to you and you have to hit it, you know, I think you can concentrate more. You have a better vision to hit the ball because it's a different color and you can make more contact. You can make contact more easy.

Q. So many people talk about, so many players that take part in that talk about how tired they get in the second and third rounds because of what they do in the first. Did you experience that at all?

BOBBY ABREU: I've never been in the Home Run Derby before, only a couple of times in Venezuela but never here in the United States. My first round I was so tired, but I was like, keep going, I just had good rhythm. The second round I was getting more tired and tired. But my third round, I just gave my hundred percent, everything that I got, just trying to hit a homer. So even though I was so tired, you know, I made it, and this guy is happy about it. (Laughter.)

EDWIN MOLINA: Very happy.

Q. For those of us stragglers just getting in from outside right now, can you just go over again how magical an evening this was for you?

BOBBY ABREU: Oh, this is a beautiful night. I mean, this is something amazing that came to me. I don't know if I can sleep tonight. I know it's going to be tough to go to bed. I'm just going to enjoy it. I'm just going to have a good time and spend time with my mother outside. I know she's feeling happy and she feels proud. I'm just going to share it with my friends.

End of FastScripts...

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