Fans of heavy-hitting baseball and bright, colorful fireworks converged at TD Ameritrade Park on a warm Saturday evening for the annual College Home Run Derby and fireworks show.

Thousands of fans were treated to home runs by the dozens, including 20 by the winner, Northern Kentucky’s Griffin Doersching, in just the final round of the 10th annual derby.

Next came the fireworks, enjoyed by those at the stadium and many more in surrounding areas. Bursts, cascades and darts of color lit up the sky to the east of the stadium in north downtown for 20 minutes during the 35th annual fireworks show sponsored by The World-Herald.

Stephanie Foote and her children, Riley, 7, and Cameron, 5, came prepared. To deal with Saturday’s warm, humid weather, they had water bottles to fill up inside the stadium. They also brought earphones to muffle the booming fireworks.

The event was a chance for Foote to meet up with a friend from Kansas City, Lara Young, and her family. The friends have known each other since they were both students at Kiewit Middle School and later at Millard North High School.

The families tried meeting for the same event last year. But stormy weather postponed the derby and fireworks, and the Youngs weren’t able to make it to the rescheduled event the following day.

But on Saturday, they, too, were ready. Dad Derric was eager to watch the baseball slugfest, and children Kylar, 11, and Kasyn, 4, were ready to catch any baseballs that soared their way.


Downtown Omaha is illuminated by the 35th annual Omaha World-Herald fireworks display on Saturday.

Mark Dishaw went to the derby and fireworks show with his daughter and her two friends, all 15-year-old students at Duchesne Academy. They were lucky. They had seats in the shade.

Temperatures were hovering at about 95 degrees at the derby’s 7 p.m. start. A southeast breeze of about 15 mph provided some comfort.

Dishaw and his daughter, Madison, and her friends Maggie Cohout and Maggie Neuman joined other Dishaw family members and friends in their shady section.

Aiden Gurrola, 9, waited patiently outside the stadium with his mother and father to meet up with another family before going inside. The home runs were already starting, and Aiden was counting: seven in the first 15 minutes of the derby, he said. Meanwhile, the friends were finding parking.

Aiden’s mother, Carmen Ceballos, said this was the first home run derby and fireworks show for the family.

The three live close enough to the stadium to hear the fireworks, she said, but not close enough to see them. They decided to go this year after the friends invited them.

Problems appeared to be minimal at the ballpark. A woman was taken by ambulance to Creighton University Medical Center-Bergan Mercy after being struck in the jaw by a baseball, according to 911 dispatch reports. Her injury was not considered to be life-threatening.


The TD Ameritrade Park grounds crew watch the Omaha World-Herald fireworks show after the College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade Park on June 29.

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