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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Major League Baseball All-Star festivities kick into high gear Monday night with the Home Run Derby at Marlins Park.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton will defend his crown as derby champion and he’ll be joined by teammate Justin Bour.

Last summer Stanton belted 61 homers to win the annual event in San Diego’s Petco Park.

A repeat performance won’t be easy.

Among the hitters trying to take Stanton’s title will be Yankees rookie sensation Aaron Judge, who leads the league with 30 home runs so far this season.

Thousands of people will pack into Marlins Park on Monday and Tuesday for the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game.

Miami-Dade Police canines made the rounds at Marlins Park Monday morning.

One of their many stops was the National League team locker room, which is just about ready for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

But before the big game and the Home Run Derby, a thorough security sweep is a priority.

“From a national level, one aspect is checking for explosives,” said Miami-Dade Police Lt. Jeff Schmidinger. “There are many facets the department is dealing with. We are helping out to make sure that everyone is safe here.”

Local, state and federal agencies will be working together to make sure the players and fans are safe before, during and after the big events.

“Safety is our number one concern,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. “We’ve been planning this for weeks and months, trying to perfect many layers of security.”

The Home Run Derby gets underway Monday at 8 p.m.


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