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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Schoenfield: Stanton one of best pure power hitters ever

Giancarlo of cool is pure pop.

What did materialize was another Giancarlo Stanton laser beam home run, this one into the right-center bullpen at Marlins Park.

Is there a more exciting batter to watch in the game right now? While I’d certainly put guys like Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Freddie Freeman and newcomer Jose Abreu right up there, Stanton combines the prospect of a potential tape-measure home run with every swing along with maybe the most intimidating presence in the game as he digs in. At 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds or so, he’s a tight end playing right field, a 24-year-old who is quickly joining legendary status for his tape-measure home runs. (Is there better term in sports than “tape-measure home run”?)

His home run off Wood was measured at a mere 391 feet—the shortest of the eight he’s hit this season. His 484-foot blast off Eric Stults back on April 4 that landed in Pensacola is the longest in the majors so far this season, but Stanton has also crushed home runs of 469 and 457 feet, according to the ESPN Home Run Tracker. His average distance per home run of 427 feet trails only Mike Morse, who benefited from two long home runs in the thin air of Coors Field back on April 23, and Ian Desmond, who has just four home runs.

Of course, those distance numbers are nothing new for Stanton. He ranked third in 2013 behind only Trout and Justin Upton in average home run distance (minimum 18 home runs), had the longest home run in the majors in 2012 (494 feet) and the second-longest average distance in 2011 behind Upton. Eighteen of his 125 career home runs have been measured at 450-plus feet and he’s done that despite playing half his games in the thick swamp air of Miami.

As an all-around hitter, Stanton may or may not be a finished product. He has 34 strikeouts in 26 games and that strikeout rate may prevent him from becoming a .300 hitter (he did hit .290 in 2012 and is at .269 in 2014). That’s another reason he’s so tantalizing as a hitter: Has he reached his apex, or is there more still to come?

Stanton’s prodigious blasts have to put him on the short list as one of the greatest pure power hitters of all time, right? He’s one of those guys who busts the 80 power rating on the 20-to-80 scouting scale. Based mostly on anecdotal evidence, history books, legends, myths, lies, truths and a personal favorite or two, here are my 10 most powerful home run hitters ever, in no particular order:

Repoz Posted: April 30, 2014 at 09:02 AM | 87 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, marlins

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   1. BDC Posted: April 30, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4697321)
my 10 most powerful home run hitters ever

Of TFA's ten, I've seen Allen, Stargell, Kingman, McGwire, and Deer. The one I can remember best hitting HR is McGwire, who seemed to hit one every time I saw him, against the Yankees, Rangers, wherever.

My own top few, of guys I watched quite a bit, would include Juan Gonzalez, Mo Vaughn, Mickey Tettleton, Nelson Cruz. Though his profile was "free-swinging pull hitter," Gonzalez was a line-drive hitter who could hit the ball a long way over the fence to right- or dead-center on occasion.
   2. WahooSam Posted: April 30, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4697365)
Reggie, Kingman and George Foster were the ones I remember from my youth. Steroids Bonds was the king though
   3. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4697399)
Russ Branyan hit some absolute moonshots as did Ron Kittle. I would say in terms of pure power, I'd rank them both ahead of Deer. Deer was a better baseball player than Kittle, and Branyan didn't exactly benefit from an excess of good fortune, but both had just prodigious power. Saw Branyan hit a ball in spring training that rattled off a light standard or else it surely would have traveled 500+ feet in the thin Arizona air.
   4. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4697410)
Of course, those distance numbers are nothing new for Stanton. He ranked third in 2013 behind only Trout and Justin Upton in average home run distance (minimum 18 home runs),

Wait, hold up. Trout had the longest average home run distance in MLB last year?
   5. puck Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4697426)
Wait, hold up. Trout had the longest average home run distance in MLB last year?


According to Hittrackeronline.com (er, ESPN HR tracker, when did that happen), yes.
   6. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4697428)
That is absolutely nuts.
   7. Matt Welch Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4697430)
Wait, hold up. Trout had the longest average home run distance in MLB last year?

When he elevates those lasers, the ball travels.
   8. Rob_Wood Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4697431)

don't forget willie mccovey the most feared hitter of the 1960's (long home runs for sure)
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4697439)
At this point, we should probably just work on the assumption that Trout has the most, greatest, longest, of every category in MLB.
   10. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4697446)
At this point, we should probably just work on the assumption that Trout has the most, greatest, longest, of every category in MLB.


Only because Milton Berle isn't alive and playing in the majors right now.
   11. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4697449)
Only because Milton Berle isn't alive and playing in the majors right now.


Nah, normal timelining stretches Trout way past Uncle Milty.

   12. Booey Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4697450)
Jim Thome hit some good ones. I always thought his at bats with Cleveland were some of the coolest I'd ever seen. The bat point he always did, the Indians tribal drums playing in the background, and then the ferocious all-or-nothing swing that looked like he'd tear a muscle whenever he missed (or launch the ball 450 feet when he didn't). Simply bad a$$.

Richie Sexson had some long ones too. I remember seeing a 500 ft "single" on Sportscenter he hit off the flagpole in centerfield in Milwaukee. The flagpole was considered part of the playing field for some reason, even though it was behind (or on top of?) the outfield wall. Anyone remember that, or is my senile mid-30's mind making it up?
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4697457)
The home runs that I saw Kevin Reimer hit struck me as being particularly well struck.
   14. Moeball Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:15 PM (#4697462)
I've been lucky to see some of the greats launch many a moon shot. I remember watching on TV as Reggie hit the light tower in Detroit in the 1971 AS game. What was really cool was going to Tiger Stadium many years later and seeing up close just where that ball was hit. That was a monster shot!

I've seen Killebrew, Schmidt, Yastrzemski - oh, and don't forget Cecil Fielder - hit some taters that were truly mashed.

Of course, saw several McGwire moon shots that went deep into the upper deck - and that was just in BP! He truly was worth the price of admission just to watch him pulverize baseballs.

Longest I've seen in person was Gary Gaetti at Old Comiskey in 1990 just before they closed it down. He hit one onto the roof in left field. Very high and very deep.

I believe only one player has ever hit a HR all the way out of Dodger Stadium - Willie Stargell - and he did it twice!

   15. Pujols Shot Ya Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4697471)
That Andres Galarraga moonshot in the old Marlins stadium just looked amazing. The longest I've seen in person was at RFK, when Berkman, batting lefty, hit one a couple rows into the seats in center, a la Frank Howard.
   16. Go-Kart Mozart Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4697485)
nice hook, Repoz.
   17. gehrig97 Posted: April 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM (#4697492)
The longest I've seen in person (up close, actually...since the ball landed a few feet from where I was sitting) was the Jay Buhner "ambulance shot" at the old Yankee Stadium.

   18. Barnaby Jones Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4697494)
Richie Sexson had some long ones too. I remember seeing a 500 ft "single" on Sportscenter he hit off the flagpole in centerfield in Milwaukee. The flagpole was considered part of the playing field for some reason, even though it was behind (or on top of?) the outfield wall. Anyone remember that, or is my senile mid-30's mind making it up?


Maybe you are thinking of this game at Enron/Minute Maid, when as a member of the Brewers Sexson tripled off the in-the-field flag pole?
   19. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:03 PM (#4697495)
I believe only one player has ever hit a HR all the way out of Dodger Stadium - Willie Stargell - and he did it twice!

Piazza did it as well. I remember, I was there!
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4697505)
glenallen hill had one monster blast out of wrigley field and had a great upper body. he's a silly addition.

john mayberry before he found the pleasures of drugs

and a personal addition, joe adcock

   21. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:16 PM (#4697511)
I saw Ryan Klesko hit an absolutely titanic home run at Skeldon Stadium in Toledo back when he was a prospect. I think it's still in the air.

I'm not a Braves fan, so I can't really speak to what his typical home run was like, but man...that thing was just destroyed. Dead center was 410 feet, and Klesko hit the ball *over* the Batter's Eye screen in center field.
   22. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4697529)
Longest Home Run I ever saw in person was by Steve Balboni, in Buffalo, not sure which year 1991-93.

   23. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4697536)
Seeing Glenallen Hill on that list made me think of Sesame St..
   24. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4697538)
Mine in person was Mo Vaughn at Shea in 2002. Because it's the Mets and even good memories have to be tainted, it came in the bottom half of an inning where Sheffield hit a tie-breaking grand slam. No video, but good to see ESPN has the write-up:

NEW YORK (AP) -- With Gary Sheffield in the middle of the lineup this year, the Atlanta Braves might finally be able to put away the New York Mets before September.

Sheffield's tiebreaking grand slam in the eighth inning lifted Atlanta to a 6-3 victory over the Mets on Wednesday night. The NL East-leading Braves won for the seventh time in eight games to open an 8½-game lead on fourth-place New York.

"That's exactly what we got him for,'' Chipper Jones said. "He saved his best swing of the series for the most crucial spot.''

Mo Vaughn homered twice for the Mets, including a titanic shot off Kevin Gryboski more than halfway up the Shea Stadium scoreboard in right-center field. It was generously estimated at 505 feet, and considered one of the longest home runs in the history of the ballpark.

"You have to laugh,'' Sheffield said. "Mo's a strong guy. That was amazing. His counted for one and mine counted for four.''
   25. A Fatty Cow That Need Two Seats Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4697541)
   26. Sweatpants Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4697542)
If we're talking about pure power and nothing else, Juan Francisco is on the list for current players. Unfortunately, he has no other plus skill, so he doesn't hit that many home runs.
   27. John Reynard Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:42 PM (#4697549)
Longest HR I ever saw in person was by Greg Luzinski. The phillies put this electronic liberty bell thing in the upper deck of Veterans Stadium (which was really far from home plate and high too) and Luzinski apparently thought it was for ringing and hit a ball off of it in either 77 or 78 (hard to remember for sure now). That thing would have been in the parking lot of most stadiums which is something you don't see in the majors very often.

The second longest was at a A-ball (maybe R level -- its been a while) capital city bombers game in Columbia SC. A couple of friends of mine were ragging on an Indians prospect Ramirez for not buttoning his shirt up saying "you're not in the majors yet...blah blah". That Ramirez was already Manny-being-Manny and ripped a line-drive HR that went into a field behind the outfield wall far enough that it didn't hit anyone's car. He flipped my friends off when he got back to home plate and hit a weaker HR next time up for good measure.
   28. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4697560)
Didn't Fred McGriff hit a ridiculous HR in the first round of the playoffs in 1993?
   29. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 30, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4697562)
I suspect it is a function of youthful exuberance but to this day Jim Sundberg is the owner of the longest home run I've ever seen in person. When was about 8 or 9 the Rangers were at Fenway and he demolished one well up the light tower in left center as I recall it. It's hard to believe that in a lifetime that has seen Jim Rice, David Ortiz, Mo Vaughn and several opposing prodigious sluggers come through that the longest homer would belong to Sundberg but he killed it.
   30. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:00 PM (#4697565)
found the video of Mo

Holy #### that ball was killed. And yes, that's the Grybo I remember.
   31. dr. scott Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4697567)
Not sure what the longest HR I've seen was, but I'm guessing it was Bonds, as I know I saw him hit some in the cove and center field bleachers. The only one I remember though is 73, as I predicted it the inning before and thought about going to the arcade to try to catch it. I then decided that my chances of catching it would be slim, and the best outcome would be me being trampled. So I stayed in my seats in the upper deck between home and first providing a great view of the ball and the fight for it in the Arcade when it landed.

Another odd point about that game: my girlfriend at the time bought the tickets over my objection, as I wanted to see the new restoration of Metropolis at the Pacific film archive that was playing that day only. I still haven't seen it, and I'm happy she won that argument.
   32. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4697572)
The hardest hit ball I've ever seen live was a triple Bonds hit in a game against the Cubs in 1993. It was an absolute laser that didn't have enough height to clear the wall.
   33. Rob_Wood Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4697579)

Longest homer I witnessed was Dave Kingman's mammoth shot in that wild 23-22 game vs Phillies at Wrigley in 1979. I was in the bleachers and saw it short-hop the porch of the third house up Kenmore Ave. which is the street that "T's" into Waveland Ave. (the street which runs behind left field). I think it was the only legitimate 500+ foot home run I ever saw in person.
   34. eddieot Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4697584)
Stargell hit bombs like nobody else. He reached the upper deck of the Vet in '71 and they put a star on the seat that lasted until they demolished the place. He also hit the upper deck in Olympic Stadium, the only player to do so. When he hit his second dinger out of Dodger Stadium in '73 Don Sutton commented: "He doesn't just hit pitchers, he takes away their dignity."

Personally, the longest HR I ever saw was hit by Darryl Strawberry as a Dodger in his return to Shea Stadium. I was sitting to the left of the gigantic Budweiser sign in RF and the ball was still on an upward trajectory when it hit off the scoreboard. Quickest bat I ever saw.
   35. Swoboda is freedom Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4697585)
I remember Reggie Jackson hitting 2 home runs at old Yankee Stadium in the same game while he was still with the As. They were remarkable because they were so different. One was a laser shot to right. It was out of the park in .1 seconds. The second was an absolute moon shot that ended in the upper deck in right. That seemed to take about a minute to come down.

The longest home run I ever saw in person was Kingman. Cleared the bullpen in left field.
   36. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4697589)
Richie Sexson had some long ones too. I remember seeing a 500 ft "single" on Sportscenter he hit off the flagpole in centerfield in Milwaukee.


He broke the scoreboard in Arizona with a long home run, as I recall.

Since we're trading stories of long home runs, I saw the one McGwire hit off Randy Johnson in the Kingdome. Don't know where it actually stands historically, but it looked titanic at the time. I also saw a guy named A.J. Zapp hit one at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma (home of the AAA Rainiers) that soared straight out over the center field wall, which was 425 feet from the plate and 25 feet tall. Took a moment or two for me to realize how far that ball must have been hit to do that.
   37. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4697601)
This McGwire home run in Cleveland was pretty ridiculous.
   38. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4697602)
I remember Stargell hitting the upper deck of the MAC club in Portland, Oregon during an exhibition game my dad took me to at the start of the We Are Family Championship year.

The right field pole is listed only at 321 feet, but the club is more than 60 feet behind it (there is an access road between them) and the deck is at least 80 feet high.

Here is a picture from the deck with the field set for soccer. Home plate would have been in far left corner from this view.

PGE Park from Mac Club upper deck.
   39. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4697608)
In person, longest ball was Vlad - 502 feet, the record for a homer to LF in Olympic Stadium. (Overall park record was Stargell, as previously noted.)
   40. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4697611)
a guy named A.J. Zapp


Indiana kid. First-round pick of the Braves. Never made the majors.

   41. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4697616)
does joey meyers still hold the record for longest homer in denver from when he played there in the minors?
   42. Booey Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4697621)
Richie Sexson had some long ones too. I remember seeing a 500 ft "single" on Sportscenter he hit off the flagpole in centerfield in Milwaukee. The flagpole was considered part of the playing field for some reason, even though it was behind (or on top of?) the outfield wall. Anyone remember that, or is my senile mid-30's mind making it up?

Maybe you are thinking of this game at Enron/Minute Maid, when as a member of the Brewers Sexson tripled off the in-the-field flag pole?

Most likely, yeah.

Hope not though, cuz that would mean my memory is comically bad. :-(
   43. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4697622)
The hardest hit ball I've ever seen live was a triple Bonds hit in a game against the Cubs in 1993. It was an absolute laser that didn't have enough height to clear the wall.


I saw a Jose Bautista home run against the Twins last year (Bautista loves hitting at Target Field; 11 home runs in 14 games) that may be the hardest hit ball I've ever seen. His barely cleared the fence, but I swear it never went more than fifteen feet above the ground. If it was a low line drive I think he could have killed the third baseman.
   44. bjhanke Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4697626)
The longest homer I ever saw was hit by Dick Allen, during his one year with the Cardinals. He hit the scoreboard well above the third deck in the old Busch Stadium, which probably had its own zip code. You couldn't actually measure its distance, because the scoreboard stopped it when it still had maybe 200 feet more to go. IIRC, Mark McGwire has the highest home run percentage of any player ever (in a reasonably long career), including Ruth. That is, if you're just talking homers, McGwire was the best ever at that one skill. - Brock Hanke
   45. Booey Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4697628)
Dammit, not letting me put the proper quotes in #42. Ah well.
   46. Booey Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4697631)
Richie Sexson had some long ones too. I remember seeing a 500 ft "single" on Sportscenter he hit off the flagpole in centerfield in Milwaukee. The flagpole was considered part of the playing field for some reason, even though it was behind (or on top of?) the outfield wall. Anyone remember that, or is my senile mid-30's mind making it up?

Maybe you are thinking of this game at Enron/Minute Maid, when as a member of the Brewers Sexson tripled off the in-the-field flag pole?


Most likely, yeah.

Hope not though, cuz that would mean my memory is comically bad. :-(

   47. Booey Posted: April 30, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4697635)
Double post, sorry.
   48. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4697661)
glenallen hill had one monster blast out of wrigley field and had a great upper body. he's a silly addition.

Hill's blast actually went onto the rooftop across the street. Had that ever been done before? I remember watching the pilot episode of Chicago Sons in 1997 where they were on the rooftop and caught a homer. I blurted out, "Yeah, right, nobody could hit the ball that far." Hill's shot was a few years after that.
   49. SandyRiver Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4697672)
What might have become Mantle's longest was interrupted by the YS facade in 1963. Some witnesses claimed it was still rising when it hit, though they were looking upward, so I'd guess it was level or just starting to descend. Still, about 110' high and 390' from home plate, must've had another 150' (or more) to fly had it not been blocked.

Saw the Mick hit a monster shot to LF at the Stadium in 1957, my first MLB game. From our seats well up in the 3rd deck and to the right of home, we could follow the ball going up and for a second or two silhouetted against the night sky, but lost it when it dropped below the top of the facade. Many of us thought it was over-and-out, but it actually landed about halfway up the 3rd deck, and much closer to the end of the grandstand than to the LF line - maybe 425' where it hit the seats and 70' above field level. Long blast #2 is another oldie, 1963 at the Polo grounds, when Cepeda lined one that hit the facing below the upper deck in farthest left-center. From my seat perhaps 2/3 up the upper deck behind home, that shot stayed below the top of the grandstand all the way out, striking at a point about 430' from home and 35-40' high. Since it never got higher than perhaps 80', that would've been even more impressive if Orlando's bat had been 1/8": lower - might've cleared the roof, which nobody ever did out that for toward CF.
   50. Bitter Mouse Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:26 PM (#4697677)
My longest is Bonds. Was visiting SF and my brother got tickets to the game. The night before Bonds won the game on a homer and I was bitter I missed it (bro choose the wrong game). Sure enough Bonds hits a homer in the ninth out of the park into the bay to win the game. That ball was so fast and hit so hard there was never a doubt from the second it left the bat everyone knew it was gone.
   51. jdennis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4697678)
As a young person, two that I remember in isolation are Manny off of Randy Johnson (I believe it was 490-495 ft down the LF line - the SC angle was speed of the pitch vs. speed of the hit) and Frank in the derby, the one that was 500+ the year he won, I believe to LC. Of course, there were the later derby shows, and Bonds at his peak, but they didn't stick with me as much as those two, maybe just from saturation.

Surprised nobody is talking about the obvious oldsters - Ruth, Mantle, Mays. Guess they are just too obvious or too old.
   52. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4697693)
The longest home run I ever saw in person was Kingman. Cleared the bullpen in left field.


Saw him do that live on TV back in the 70s, the Met announcers (Kiner/Murphy) just went silent and you could hear someone else in the background simply say, "damn"

read in the paper the next day that he'd taken out a car window in the parking lot too.
   53. Ok, Griffey's Dunn (Nothing Iffey About Griffey) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4697705)
I witnessed Adam Dunn's shot off of Limatime! that ended up down by the Ohio River (longest homerun ever hit at GABP). Absolutely crushed. I also was at Riverfront when McGwire hit the longest homerun in Riverfront history. Also, absolutely crushed.

But, the hardest hit home run I've ever seen live has to be a shot Jack Clark hit at Riverfront. It was a line drive that had just leveled out when it landed in the yellow seats (second highest level in the outfield) almost instantaneously from the point of contact (so it seemed). I don't think that I will ever see another ball get out of the stadium that quickly.

edit:

Dunn

McGwire

   54. base ball chick Posted: April 30, 2014 at 03:59 PM (#4697730)
longest balls hit?

well, there was that richie sexson shot offn that stupid flagpole in CF - if he could run, it woulda been an inside the parker. if it hadn't hit the flagpole, it would have gone up on that patch of green turf above and beyond the 420' sign. i've seen some balls clear the wall over the 420' sign, but if it is less than 450, i can't call it monstrous

sammy sosa hit a homer offn the citgo sign in left center - have never seen a ball go that far/high. certainly would have been hit to crawford st if that sign wasn't there - probably woulda bounced offn the facade of the hotel across the street

lance berkman hit a monstrous homer at the dbax park back when it was still the BOB - went to the very top of the wall in CF and for some reason, got called only 450' - which is horsepoopoo. also the one at RFK which must have been at LEAST 500' (he was a really REALLY good baseball player)

and the longest i think i have seen is when wily mo pena hit a ball offn brandon duckworthless over the walk and into the river at the GAB - they SAID it was 505' but i bet it was and probably longer

then there are all the mcgwire/bonds ones. and probably josh hamilton
   55. base ball chick Posted: April 30, 2014 at 04:10 PM (#4697745)
longest balls hit Old Style - i guess - would be jimmy wynn hitting the ball out of the cincy (before riverfront - forget the name) onto the freeway behind the stadium
   56. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 30, 2014 at 04:33 PM (#4697768)
The longest I ever saw in person was Tony Armas hitting one into the centerfield bleachers/batting eye at Old Comiskey. I think it was 460 feet to dead center, and Armas parked one halfway up the bleachers beyond that.
   57. salvomania Posted: April 30, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4697786)
wrong thread
   58. Moeball Posted: April 30, 2014 at 05:08 PM (#4697805)
I saw the one McGwire hit off Randy Johnson in the Kingdome. Don't know where it actually stands historically, but it looked titanic at the time.


At the time I believe ESPN was saying it was in the neighborhood of 530+ feet. I'm sure that subsequently got revised downwards, but it was still an unbelievable shot.

The interesting thing was watching the different styles of hitters in BP. 1998 was such a great year as a Padres fan, of course, for a lot of reasons. One of them was all the BP stuff I got to see.

When the Giants were in town, I saw BB take BP and he hit about 8 or 9 HRs, but they were all lasers that barely cleared the RF fence. You'd hear the bat make contact and "boom" the ball was already over the fence! I think most of his "tape measure" HRs came a few years later; he seemed to have changed his style of hitting a bit by then...

When Seattle was in for inter league play I saw Junior hit about 10 HRs in BP and they were going a bit further than Bonds' HRs did, but they didn't look otherworldly.

When St. Louis was in, though, it was like the circus was in town so many fans were there for BP. Mac, of course, was launching missiles that went high and deep - he hit about 14 out and just about every one of them was deep into the upper deck. It was one of those things that would be difficult to describe to anyone - you truly had to see it for yourself to believe it.
   59. Coot Veal and Cot Deal's cols=“100” rows=“20” Posted: April 30, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4697825)
I was lucky enough to see Frank Howard tag a few at RFK.
   60. theboyqueen Posted: April 30, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4697827)
Was it Canseco and McGwire in Oakland who made showing up early to see batting practice a thing? It was always billed as sort of a show within a show.
   61. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 30, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4697828)
Mark Trumbo hit one late last year that went IIRC over 470 feet. That probably have been the longest home run I've ever seen with my own eyes.
   62. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape Posted: April 30, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4697836)
nice hook, Repoz.


Well, it is for now people.

Also, is Go-Kart Mozart a Lawrence nod?
   63. Cat Named Manny Posted: April 30, 2014 at 06:08 PM (#4697849)
As far as I know, Yastrzemski has hit the only homer off the right-field facade at Fenway, the closest anyone has ever come to hitting one out to right in that ballpark. Unfortunately, as is always the risk with truly monster blasts, the cameraman had no clue where the ball was (plus the number of cameras was probably a little smaller than today).

While I'm being a Red Sox homer, David Ortiz's home run last week is the AL's longest of the year thus far, just a couple feet behind Stanton's.
   64. simon bedford Posted: April 30, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4697850)
longest i saw personally was jose canseco at the skydome, it rattled around the back of the ball park and if the roof had been open, it probably would have gone right out..the crowd was almost silent...never seen anyone come close to that in the homer happy rogers center
   65. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 30, 2014 at 06:34 PM (#4697866)
I was lucky enough to see Frank Howard tag a few at RFK.

I saw him hit a monster at Cleveland stadium. In the 60-odd years that MLB was played there, no one ever hit one into the centerfield bleachers (which is kind of strange, because with THAT many games played, you would think someone would have reached it--it would be anywhere from 490-510 feet, depending on where home plate was) Anyway, Hondo hit one (off Sudden Sam, of course) which landed about 20 feet up the walkway that separated the bleachers from the left field stands. If it had been 10-15 feet more towards center it would have made the bleachers easily.
   66. Booey Posted: April 30, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4697872)
Surprised nobody is talking about the obvious oldsters - Ruth, Mantle, Mays.


A few people have mentioned Mantle. I doubt anyone here was lucky enough to see Ruth play. ;-)

Did Mays hit tape measure shots? Or did he just hit lots of regular ones?
   67. Booey Posted: April 30, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4697875)
The Pujols game winner off Brad Lidge in the playoffs was pretty epic. I remember they cut to a clip of Andy Pettitte's reaction in the dugout and seeing him mouth "Oh my GOD!!!" pretty much said it all.
   68. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 30, 2014 at 07:24 PM (#4697893)
I've had the pleasure of watching Allen, Luzinski, Schmidt and Howard blast home runs. Allen was TEH AWESOME. I saw him clear the billboards that stood atop the peaked roof over the 2 tiered stands in LF in old Connie Mack. Luzinski hit some moon shots. Schmidt's hit a ton of line drive HRs, not too many monsters. Howard didn't hit as many big time blasts as you would think, but he was must watch for a few years.
   69. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: April 30, 2014 at 08:26 PM (#4697914)
I can't think of the longest, but the hardest-hit ball I've seen in person was a Schmidt HR off Dwight Gooden that had no arc, just velocity. It caromed, hard, off the middle of the CF back wall in Veterans Stadium in about 3 seconds. The perfect intersection of speed, power, cocaine and mustache.

For televised OMGs, besides the Pujols/Lidge one mentioned, the other best combination of epic distance AND scary velocity that comes to mind is Mark McGwire taking Randy Johnson into the upper deck.

There was also Manny's playoff moon shot off K-Rod, and a Greg Luzinski rocket over the LF/CF roof in old Comiskey. For the latter game, there were visitors from Ireland who asked us what seemed like a simple question: "So, how do you play baseball?" As the explanation got more detailed and convoluted, we could see their eyes glazing. But then Luzinski went ker-pow and all cultural barriers fell.
   70. puck Posted: April 30, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4697922)
does joey meyers still hold the record for longest homer in denver from when he played there in the minors?


I think so. Looks like the Rockie with the longest shot at Coors is Galarraga at 529 ft. Makes me wonder how accurately they measured the Meyers shot. I thought Giancarlo Stanton hit a monster shot there...looks like it was "only" 460 ft. So 529 ft even at altitude is a helluva shot, much less a 582 footer.
   71. Karl from NY Posted: April 30, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4697923)
At this point, we should probably just work on the assumption that Trout has the most, greatest, longest, of every category in MLB.

Except that Grady Sizemore is back in the game. Lisa knows what we mean.
   72. Walt Davis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 09:25 PM (#4697955)
Alas, longest HR I recall seeing in person was Jody Davis during BP as a thunderstorm was on the horizon and the pressure drop had the wind howling out at about 40 MPH. He got ahold of it pretty good but it was all wind. Still not as long as Kingman's though (which I did see on TV).

I still call one Leon Durham hit in Philly as the most impressive I ever witnessed (on TV). That thing was a f'ing laser. Didn't make the upper deck but it was also a line drive and I'm not sure it had started down when it hit the seats. I've never seen a ball leave the park faster. You know those vicious line drives that the 3B snags and you think "how did the camera guy move fast enough to show that play?" This was like that except the ball was slamming a seat 400+ feet away. In real time, just watching the swing my jaw dropped. And it was off a LHP (Holland I think).

Bonds vs. Percival in the WS when Percival seemed to decide "let's see if you can catch up to this one big fella". I'm guessing Percival was not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Most fun HR still belongs to Glenallen Hill. Ron Cey's ITPHR probably second -- standard double off the wall in the well in LF in Wrigley but LF's feet got caught in the ivy and down he went as the ball rolled into the corner.
   73. Walt Davis Posted: April 30, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4697963)
In terms of ridiculous power, Stanton has fallen off the pace a bit.

At age 20, min 350 PA (cherry-picked) Stanton had the 6th best ISO ever for that age. Ahead of him were Ott, Williams, ARod, Horner and FRob; behind were Tony C, Trout, Foxx and Mantle.

At age 21, he had the 3rd best ISO, a bit behind Pujols and well behind Mathews. Foxx, Trosky, Joe D and Ted behind.

At 22, he was 3rd again, behind Ted and Joe D, ahead of Boog, Mathews and Foxx. Through age 22, min 1000 PA, he was 3rd behind Joe D and Ted again.

But 23 was a lost season. And his current age 24 ISO would only be good for 16th, tied with Klesko. Also just ahead of schlubs like FRob, ARod and Joe D.

So through age 24 (1000+ PA), he currently sits 9th, basically tied with McGwire. Braun (barely qualifying) and Pujols are ahead of him.

Trout by the way is 10th on the age-22 list.

Special mention of Mays who missed most of his age 21-22 seasons. Can't say with any certainty where he would have ranked but the man came back from the army a beast -- 322 ISO at 23, 340 at 24 while posting BAs of 345 and 319.

   74. Don Malcolm Posted: April 30, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4697964)
Frank Howard...playing in the 90s...the mind reels.

As for "Sizemore"...anecdotal information suggests that another Frank--Frank Baker--had enough of an "endowment" to fund a couple of state university systems. Maybe that's the real reason he was called "Home Run" Baker...

Brock Hanke and I had/have a collective "pet name" for Willie Stargell--STUNGUN. He probably lost about 40 HRs off his career totals from playing in Forbes for the first part of his career. (Of course, he gained a LOT of triples--check out that 46/9 home-road split!)
   75. Walt Davis Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:05 AM (#4698030)
On Howard ...

he kinda seems like he should have had more power. Not that it wasn't impressive but, for 1958-73, 3000+ PAs, he's only 10th in ISO. Aaron, McCovey, Killer, Mays and FRob all played from 58-73 (OK, McCovey was 59) and out-ISOd him fairly substantially. Allen and Stargell started in 62 and out-ISOd him. For the first half of his career only you've got Mantle but also Maris, Colavito, Banks, Cash, Stuart, Gentile, Cepeda and the old Adcock. If you look through age 29 from 1950 to 1980, he's 28th, between Wally Post and Bobby Bonds. Even among guys who started their careers around 1958, he's out-ISO'd by McCovey, FRob, Maris, Cash, Bob Allison and Cepeda.

He peaked late so let's look at 30-34 from 1950 to 1980. He is up to 6th on this list behind obvious candidates Mays, Stargell, McCovey, Killer and Mantle. The least impressive name who's only 8 points behind is Roy Sievers. Perhaps most impressively, McCovey, Killer, Howard and FRob (9 points behind) all include 1968 in this split.
   76. bjhanke Posted: May 01, 2014 at 06:08 AM (#4698068)
Hey, Don - Thanks for remembering Willie StunGun. One of our very best nicknames; described the player exactly.

For jdennis - When I was growing up, which is the late 1950s and the early 1960s, no one talked about tape measure shots without deferring to Mantle. That may be why no one has mentioned Mays or even Ruth. At that time, Mantle owned that reputation. That doesn't make it true, but he did own the rep. - Brock Hanke
   77. Rob_Wood Posted: May 01, 2014 at 06:17 AM (#4698069)
Mays, my all-time favorite player, did not hit a lot of long home runs - as I said above McCovey had far more raw power than Mays ever did
   78. Bunny Vincennes Posted: May 01, 2014 at 08:15 AM (#4698087)
glenallen hill had one monster blast out of wrigley field and had a great upper body. he's a silly addition.


Harveys,

Thanks for mentioning that. I was at that game with college roomates in my grandfather's seats behind the 3rd base dugout. It was hit impossibly far. All of us were serious baseball fans but we just stood in disbelief that he hit it that far, and from field level you couldn't really tell how far it went but you knew it was ridiculous, it wasn't until retiring to a bar postgame we got the WGN feed to see how far it really went. It hit that house! I was also there the day Sosa sent one skipping down Kenmore. I was in the 400 level that day and that ball just kept rolling but it sailed to Kenmore before it hit.
   79. Bunny Vincennes Posted: May 01, 2014 at 08:27 AM (#4698089)
Frank Howard. Funny. I have a friend who is the accountant for the local Northern League team here, and they have frequent events where they bring in former MLB stars. I'm not really a collector but I have a dozen or so autographed baseballs. Most of them from my friend. He will leave them on my desk the day after the game. Maury Wills, Minnie Minnoso, Robin Yount, Molitor, Andy Pafko (dated my grandmother)... But, Frank Howard's ball was hilarious. He covered the ball with his stats, etc, his nickname "Capital Punisher" and finally, "I'm sorry the Cubs suck." I laughed my ass off the morning I found that ball on my keyboard. By all accounts he's a cool guy.
   80. SandyRiver Posted: May 01, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4698102)
IIRC, Howard had a big looping swing without a huge amount of uppercut, so hit a lot of flat scorchers. Even his 460' double to center in G1 of the 1963 Series was more liner than flyball. One such screecher that I saw personally was at the epic Memorial Day twinbill at the Polo Grounds in 1962. With the RF foul pole only 257' from the plate, the right fielder positioned way out in right-center for a hitter like Big Hondo, nearly 400' from the plate. (Any Howardian flyball to right that remained playable in that park had sufficient hang-time to allow almost any defender to make a play.) Can't remember Mets pitcher, but Howard hit one over the second baseman's head that the RF caught going back and reaching up, about 2 seconds (it seemed) after contact. Our seats were 1st row upper deck in left center, right over the Dodgers' bullpen (which was on the playing field), and from our vantage point that liner was silhoutted against the field all the way, like it had never gotten more than 20-25' above the grass.
   81. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: May 01, 2014 at 08:53 AM (#4698103)
Going the other way with this, one of the related videos for that Mo Vaughn homer video linked earlier, here's Miguel Cabrera driving in a go-ahead run during an attempted IBB.
   82. Rob_Wood Posted: May 01, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4698113)
Everybody has probably heard Tony Kubek tell stories of Frank Howard's home runs. On more than one occasion, shortstop Kubek leaped for a screeching line drive over his head only to turn around and see the line drive continue all the way into the left-centerfield bleachers for a home run.

The hardest line drive I ever saw hit was Jim Rice at the old Comiskey Park. I swear it never got more than 10 feet off the ground and carried all the way to the center field wall, which was something like 420 feet from home plate. Generally speaking I would not say that Rice had awesome "power", but he definitely hit more than his share of dangerous line drives.
   83. Scott Lange Posted: May 01, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4698116)
Glenallen Hill in batting practice in Atlanta, off the base of the out-of-town scoreboard in left-center.
   84. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: May 01, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4698258)

Mike Trout, 445-450 opposite field shot off Jacob Turner in Detroit, 2012.
   85. bjhanke Posted: May 01, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4698488)
Again, this is reputation, rather than actual verifiable film footage, but in the 1950s-1960s, when I was growing up, all long homers were estimated, by the announcers, at 500 feet or more. They would not even mention a homer as being long if they didn't think it went 500. Whenever a game got slow, they'd start debating whether anyone had actually ever hit a 600-footer. I don't think anyone actually claimed to have ever seen such a thing, but it was sort of the gold ring; if you hit a 600-footer, then you were clearly the longest hitter ever. Again, this is all according to announcers. Film footage at the time suffered from a lack of many cameras, so you'd often just see part of a blast. Also, I don't know if anyone has ever looked at film and tried to estimate how far a blast would have gone if it had not hit something in the outfield. It seems like it should be possible, given current cameras, to graph out the curve of a blast and use some math to figure out how far it would have gone if there had been nothing in front of it but ground level.

My memory is that both Mantle and Howard (and McCovey; Rob Wood is absolutely correct about that) hit longer fly balls than Willie Mays did. Willie just hit more of them. It's worth mentioning that, as a Cardinal fan, I got to see a lot more NL players, like Mays and McCovey, than AL players, like Mantle. Also, Walt (#75) - I'm about a day or two from getting a new computer, so I still can't look this stuff up, but is it possible that Howard's relatively low ISO is due to his lack of running speed preventing him from hitting doubles? A lot of the big slow guys hit more homers than doubles for that reason. Howard would seem like a good candidate for this. - Brock Hanke
   86. Don Malcolm Posted: May 01, 2014 at 07:57 PM (#4698506)
Howard had a bigger platoon split than many of the other sluggers in the group. And his doubles per AB were the lowest of any of these guys--particularly so against RHP. He hit about 10 more doubles per 600 AB against lefties than he did against righties.

The RHB with the lowest 2B/HR ratios against RHP: Killebrew .53 (but because he just hit a boatload of HRs--410--against righties in the 58-73 time frame, even more than Aaron), Dick Stuart .57, Howard .59, Adcock .65, Jim Lemon .65, Colavito .74. Everyone else--even Nate Colbert--was over .8.

BTW, Dick Allen's ISO (at least through '73) against LHP was right up there with Aaron's (.304 vs .307). His OPS against LHP in this time frame is #1 (1.051). He tailed off some after that, but his lifetime OPS against LHP is still 1.025, good enough for fourth best behind Frank Thomas, Manny Ramirez, and Albert Pujols.

Howard ranks 12th on that list.

Overall ISO vs. lefties: McGwire is first at .342, well ahead of Frank (.313) and Albert (.303). Allen is fourth (.293); Howard is 12th (.264).

For players with at least 500 PA against LHP, Stanton ranks third in ISO at .307.
   87. Cabbage Posted: May 01, 2014 at 11:35 PM (#4698626)
I was also there the day Sosa sent one skipping down Kenmore. I was in the 400 level that day and that ball just kept rolling but it sailed to Kenmore before it hit.


I was also at that game. First base side lower deck reserves. It was clearly a moonshot, but I didn't learn it went down Kenmore until the next morning. That was a fun game, a fun season: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN200306240.shtml

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