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MINNEAPOLIS - Forget about the Home Run Derby, the real competition Monday night was taking place between the ticket scalpers.

"I'm trying to see if this is going to be a brawl," laughed Divelia Freeman as he watched the jostling for customers. "There's too much competition down here."

His observation seemed to be true for those who came to sell tickets and not buy them.

"It's like a cut throat business, wild, wild west," said Timothy Thomas, a veteran Target Field ticket seller.

Thomas' business got decidedly more crowded Monday night as out-of-town scalpers came to town.

"Indiana, people from Milwaukee, a lot of Chicago," said Thomas. "I mean I'm seeing guys, whoa, where did you come from?"

Stir in some rain and an hour before the derby was to begin, Target Field was a buyers' market.

"Everyone caught on to it that the rain is out, so let's use the rain for advantage to get cheaper tickets, and it's working," said Thomas.

At times scalpers all but chased fans as they walked toward the stadium.

"These guys are all arguing over who's going to sell these two guys tickets, for less than face value," observed Pat McDevitt as he searched for a deal on three tickets for himself, his wife and son.

He finally settled on three tickets together, just over face value.

"I would have waited another hour to see what happens out here, but we've got a 12-year-old who's pretty impatient," said McDevitt, still pleased that he hadn't bit on Craigslist tickets a few days ago being offered for twice face value.

Minutes before the first batter stepped to the plate, $280 tickets were selling for more than $100 off face.

Jay Gabbert, a veteran ticket seller, wasn't surprised.

"It's a $100 town for a big event, that's what they want to pay."

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