Danny Tartabull

In 1991, when Danny Tartabull participated in the Home Run Derby, his first-half home-run rate was 50 percent above the average of his first-half numbers in nine professional seasons up to that point. In the second half, his home-run average was actually below average by 11.4 percent. But one example does not a Home Run Derby curse make. The authors found that on the whole the trajectory of a player’s offensive numbers over the course of a season are the same regardless of his participation in the Derby. (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY, COOPERSTOWN, N.Y.)