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Cespedes joins elite group with Derby invite

A's outfielder one of only four non-All-Stars chosen to participate

The inclusion of A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in Monday's Home Run Derby carries a bit of historic significance.

Cespedes, who was not named to the American League All-Star squad, became the fourth player in history to be chosen for the Home Run Derby but not the Midsummer Classic.

Cespedes joins Rafael Palmeiro (2004), Hee-Seop Choi (2005) and Ryan Howard (2007) as the only players to participate in the Derby but not the following night's game. Only Palmeiro advanced out of the first round, and none made it to the finals.

In 2004, when Palmeiro was part of the AL contingent, he was one of three members of the 500-homer club, along with Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa. Jim Thome, then with 409, was also in that year's Derby lineup. Palmeiro hit nine in the first round but managed just five in the semis and was eliminated.

A year later, Choi was named Korea's representative in the international-themed Derby, which saw participants from eight nations. He hit five homers in the first round and did not advance.

Howard won the '06 edition as an All-Star but could not defend his crown in 2007, when he was not named to the NL All-Star team and hit just three home runs in the first round of the Derby.

Download the official Home Run Derby Game, featuring 24 sluggers from the 2010-12 Home Run Derby events. Connect and challenge gamers on the worldwide leaderboards. Available for free on the Apple App Store.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.
Read More: Oakland Athletics, Yoenis Cespedes