The Annual Home Run Derby at the Beach Club of The Misquamicut Club in Watch Hill, R.I., has become one of the club’s signature summer events. It is as popular with adults as it is with children, because it provides a chance to bring families together for an evening full of fun, food and everyone’s favorite pastime: trying to knock one out of the park—or in this case, into the ocean.
To make it authentic, the club’s staff transforms its Beach Club into a baseball stadium, by clearing a section of the beach and raking it into a smooth playing field. Guests are encouraged to wear their favorite baseball jersey or hat, and the "ballpark" mood is further enhanced by dining tables that are set up around the field and decorated with team pennants, hats and other baseball paraphernalia.
The wait staff offers peanuts, popcorn, sports bars and soda to the crowds as they arrive, and the culinary team grills hot dogs and hamburgers on the lawn.
Batters are introduced by the Club Manager (the General Manager takes the mound to pitch). Wiffle balls are used and all children get five swings. Prizes—including authentic Major League Baseball Home Run Derby balls, signed baseballs, and team jerseys—are given to the top boy and girl sluggers.
After the children’s competition, when the sun goes down, the club cranks up its tower lights to illuminate the entire beach, as well as surrounding dunes. Adults then bat "under the lights," using the ocean as a homerun marker (lifeguards are positioned on surfboards to retrieve any balls that get hit into the drink).