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I suspect his unmatched homerun distances could be the result of using a much larger bat than anything used today. Maybe using the big bat was ideal for distance hitting against the pitching in his time, but wouldn't work against today's much harder throwers.
I saw mid-80's Dave Parker (then with the Reds) pull one into the upper deck at Candlestick... no idea how far that would've gone, but it sure looked impressive.
The most impressive home run I ever saw in person was hit by Jack Clark, in an exhibition game against Stanford at Sunken Diamond. The ball left the ball park, literally, sailing over the top of a row of trees well behind the left field fence, and it had not yet begun to descend. It was thrilling to see, yet at the same time almost scary, like witnessing a piece of artillery being fired.
GuyM (#63): I have always thought that, taking all things into account, a batter can hit a ball harder (and therefore farther) with a heavier bat, at least up to a point. What one loses in bat speed is more than made up in a higher efficiency for transferring energy to the ball (at least, up to a point). Note that this is the "anti-corking" argument. When a bat is corked, the opposite is done, namely, the bat is made lighter. This will generally not allow one to hit the ball harder. What one loses in efficiency is not made up with the higher bat speed.
I still swear to this day, that I have never seen a batter hit the ball harder than Jack Clark, and yes that includes Mark McGwire or Barry Bonds. The ball off his bat was just line drive shots.
I've argued in the past that corking doesn't add distance, but the slightly lighter weight makes it easier for a hitter to adjust the trajectory of his bat in flight, ensuring more consistent hits on the sweet spot, giving the illusion of hitting the ball harder, when it's just hitting the ball "square" more frequently.
How does Matt Holliday fit into your experience?
I completely agree with what you are saying. It fact, it is what I was trying to say (you phrased it better) in the 2nd paragraph of my post (#64). I wrote a paper about corking bats (among other things) a couple of years ago in which I say essentially what you said:
This led to some really hilarious failures by almost everyone's left fielder, sooner or later. I also think some LFs got hurt tripping when they hit the upslope. I don't know when, or why, that ridge went away, but if I had been owning the Reds, I'd have flattened it immediately.
Reconstructed for advanced level baseball, the Crosley Field restoration project was formally dedicated to the "Youth of Baseball" in July of 1988.
Crosley Field was reconstructed by using the blueprints from the original stadium, including the same field dimensions, grass infield, the infamous outfield terrace, and the same dimensions, height, and angles of the outfield wall. To add to the authenticity of the reconstruction project, the 400+ seat stands on the 3rd baseline comprise of the original stadium seating from Crosley Field.
The scoreboard was reconstructed to simulate the original scoreboard from Crosley when the "last pitch" was thrown on June 24, 1970. No detail was left out in the reconstruction process, including the original sponsors of the Reds and the scores from around the league at that time (see left).
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