MLB players hop on jet skis to collect HR Derby balls out of ocean

December 19th, 2022
Gabby Ricciardi

NASSAU -- On one side of the jetty at Montagu Beach, 39 Bahamian and international professional baseball players participated in a home run derby. On the other side, two Major Leaguers suited up to join the group of jet skiers retrieving the baseballs from Montagu Bay.

Guardians right-hander and free-agent right-hander were among the four dozen attendees of the Don’t Blink Home Run Derby in Paradise, an event hosted by Bahamian natives and designed to showcase the talent of the Caribbean nation’s baseball players.

The players were divided into two groups, Team Isaacs and Team Fox, with a head-to-head competition at the end. Saturday marked the fifth iteration of the event, all of which McKenzie has attended.

After selecting their respective jet skis, McKenzie and Toussaint got ready to board. Toussaint came prepared, wearing blue swim trunks to go with his red life jacket. McKenzie went a different route, wearing his yellow Team Isaacs jersey and shrugging off the suggestion that he might return soaked.

Just before taking off, McKenzie was stopped by an onlooker, “Triston! Your watch -- is it waterproof?”

McKenzie looked down briefly at his wrist before emphatically nodding his head and peeling away from the shore. Toussaint was long gone, zipping around the bay past fellow jet skiers who were retrieving the 272 home run baseballs that were crushed throughout the tournament.

As they passed the jetty onto the other side of the beach, McKenzie and Toussaint were showered with home run balls. The ones that came short of the anchored barge or were missed by the gloves and nets of the jet skiers were collected by McKenzie. The right-hander scooped the stray balls and rode to the shore just past the derby stage.

Standing on the sand and wading into the water were a number of kids, hoping to go home with a souvenir. McKenzie made several trips from the home run zone to the beach, hand-delivering baseballs to the young fans.

Each of the guys took off with a 360 camera stick in one hand, assisting the MLB social team with a new angle on the derby. McKenzie, who made his MLB debut in 2020, has become somewhat of a seasoned vet in the social media space. The 25-year-old served as the correspondent for Games 2 and 3 of the ‘22 World Series, taking over the MLB social accounts for a behind-the-scenes look at the Fall Classic.

Gabby Ricciardi

Toussaint, who made eight appearances for the Angels in 2022, briefly returned to the shore to hand over the camera and make an announcement.

“Watch this,” Toussaint said before speeding off toward McKenzie. “I’m going to splash Triston.”

After getting their money’s worth, the two returned to land to cheer on the final rounds of the derby. Team Fox got its revenge after being down 2-1 in past derbies, hitting 146 homers to Team Isaacs' 126. Bahamian native BJ Murray Jr. won the head-to-head competition, taking the crown from 2021 winner .