Hittin’ dingers and takin’ names Team Grissom participates in HR Derby

  • Published
  • By Douglas Hays
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs
All Joel Nickelson could do is watch as Steve Brewer launched his eight homerun into the stratosphere to clinch an inter-service homerun derby contest held Aug. 18th at the Kokomo Municipal Field in Kokomo, Indiana.

The contest, pitted Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines in a friendly competition to see who could hit the most homeruns in a 10-swing-per-round competition.

Cory Beck, 74th Air Refueling Squadron, catapulted to the top after the first round, slugging eight homers in the first round as four of the five Team Grissom members advanced to the second round.

As the rounds continued, and the competition grew tighter until the semi-final round where Nickelson, 74th ARS, and Kaleb Middleton, U.S. Navy recruiter, went into a four-swing slug-off to see who would face Brewer, U.S. Navy recruiter, in the championship round.

Nickelson put the pressure on, hit four straight dingers, and Middleton’s first pitch pop-up sealed the deal.

Nickelson led off the final round and slugged seven dingers out of 10 swings to put the pressure on the Navy big hitter.

However, Brewer, who had put on an impressive display throughout the contest, continued to hammer shot after shot, and slugged eight homers in his first nine pitches to clinch.

Other members of Team Grissom included Tim McBee, 74th ARS, Tim Holmgren, 434th Security Forces Squadron, and Chris Cockle, 434th Force Support Squadron.

Col. Larry Shaw threw out the first pitch and was the honorary manager for all the teams.

“What a fun and great event,” Shaw said. “Grissom did great, but all of our biceps wouldn’t add up to that big Navy guy’s guns,” he laughed. “We gotta hit the gym if we are going to do it again!”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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