Can anyone tell me what the longest home runs in Major League history are. Thanks
Can anyone tell me what the longest home runs in Major League history are. Thanks
I've read that the longest home run in ML history is 634 feet,hit by Mickey Mantle for the New York Yankees vs. the Detroit Tigers at Briggs Stadium ,Detroit in September 1960.
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON Jul-04-01 AT 10:41 PM (EST)[/font][p]Thanks ZbiSal. Do you get your info. from a list, or do you know of one. Thanks
That's the longest by a major leaguer in a regular baseball season, but did you know that ONE man hit a fair ball completely OUT of Yankees Stadium?
That man was Josh Gibson, playing for the Crawfords in an exhibition game against the Philly Stars in 1934. The ball went over the triple deck next to the bullpen in left, and OUT.
In 1987, Bo Jackson hit one in Spring Training completely out of the Baseball City complex and into the parking lot - at least 600 feet. According to the Royals, that ball is STILL rolling, somewhere in Florida! ;-)
That could well be. My 'source' is Jack Marshall, of the Chicago American Giants (the other team in that double-header), quoted in Robert Petersons "Only the Ball was White".
I heard a funny Mantle-related story one time. The Yankees were playing the Dogers in an exhibition game and Mantle hit a monster home run. Ron Fairly was on the Dodger bench and said, "Heck, I hit one that far once." Fairly took some razzing until he added, "Of course I was using a two-wood at the time."
Let's rid baseball of the pestilence of the DH now and forever!
There's a very interesting article on this topic right here at the Baseball-Almanac: http://baseball-almanac.com/art_hr.shtml
Hard to really detemine who hit the longest, but from the past, one of Babe Ruth's was mentioned in the book, "The Home Run Encyclopedia". August 16, 1927, Ruth hit a ball completely out of Comiskey Park over the double grandstand and roof. Sportswriters at the game said the ball cleared the 52 foot wide roof with room to spare and landed on the side walk accross the street on Wentworth avenue. Again, like most long home runs hard to determine the exact footage but estimated at close to 600 feet.
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Mar-10-02 AT 04:54 AM (EST)]Another story has Ruth hitting one 600' during spring training. And
all the fabricated tales about Jose Gibson, are just that, fabricated!
The ball (especially those old balls) could only compressed so much!
It's really unlikely, that any ball traveled, w/o a strong wind, much
farther than 530-540 feet.
Most likely there were a few caught just right, that got up into a
wind, and cleared these stadiums,; but 600 ft? I doubt it!
The longest I ever saw, was hit by Frank Howard in 1969 in RFK
stadium...There couldn't have been 2000 fans in attendence, and I
was walking around the upper deck, down near the right field corner
when he came up.
He hit a line drive over the 376 sign in LCF, 1/3 the way up in the
2nd deck. You could hear the wooden seat crack! the outfielders never
turned around; but the SS did, he never moved his feet after turning
around, and the ball came all the way back to him! The ball was still
climbing when it hit the seat! It took about 3 seconds to get there.
After the "shot" I looked around and took notice of 10-15 seats in
LCF and straight away in CF, all in the upper deck painted white
where he had hit them. Nobody hit them any farther than this Giant
of a man, and most certainly not as many!
In 1957 when he came to Japan w/ Ohio State team, I saw a wierd thing
happen. In the old days we had bats w/ lead plugs in them to use for
limbering up. Howard had 3 or 4 of them, swinging them around, waiting
for his AB. One plug came out and hit a woman who looked 8 months pregnant...in her shoulder, thank God......He of course was concerned
and very upset..........After things died down, Frank Howard hit a
ball down the LF line over the 375' sign (field on a football field)
over the road, over the top of the power plant! That one must have
traveled over 500'
I agree, no way to ever tell who hit the longest. I did use the word "estimated" when referring to Ruth's home run that cleared the roof at Comiskey.I am sure that tape measure home runs hit by Ruth, Foxx, Mantle , Dick Allen, Killebrew, Frank Howard, Joe Adcock, McGwire and a few more power hitters are not that far apart in distance. There is probably not that much of a difference between the furthest ever hit and the ones that were close to the furthest ever hit. I also have my doubts about balls being hit 600 feet and more, although I can't say for sure it's never been done.
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Mar-12-02 AT 05:08 PM (EST)]Here are The Mick's 10 longest homeruns: (He was in my opinion, the best pure-power switch-hitter of all-time)
1. 734 ft. – 5/22/63, vs. Kansas City, at Yankee Stadium, Pitcher: Bill Fischer
2. 660 ft. – 3/26/51, vs. USC, at Bovard Field, USC, Pitcher: Unknown
3. 650 ft. – 6/11/53, vs. Detroit, at Briggs Stadium, Pitcher: Art Houteman
4. 643 ft. – 9/10/60, vs. Detroit, at Tiger Stadium, Pitcher: Paul Foytack
5. 630 ft. – 9/13/53, vs. Detroit, at Yankee Stadium, Pitcher: Billy Hoeft
6. 620 ft. – 5/30/56, vs. Washington, at Yankee Stadium, Pitcher: Pedro Ramos
7. 565 ft. – 4/17/53, vs. Washington, at Griffith Stadium, Pitcher: Chuck Stobbs
8. 550 ft. – 6/05/55, vs. Chi. White Sox, at Comiskey Park, Pitcher: Billy Pierce
9. 535 ft. – 7/06/53, vs. Philadelphia A's, at Connie Mack Stadium, Pitcher: Frank Fanovich
10. 530 ft. – 4/24/53, vs. St. Louis Browns, at Busch Stadium, Pitcher: Bob Cain
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As a sidebar to Howard, I remember Game 1, 1963 in the old (and thats important) Yankee Stadium when Howard hit a shot in the first inning off Ford which went on a low line (Kubeck actually jumped for the ball) to the left center field wall (this was before renovation so its over 400 ft) in the blink of an eye. The ball got to the wall so fast and hit with such force and it carommed back to Mantle so quickly that Howard was held to what had to be one of the longest singles ever. Frank Howard may not have hit the longest home runs but not many players hit the ball harder.
After 1957, it seemed like we would never laugh again. Of course, we did. Its just that we were never young again.
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Mar-14-02 AT 12:25 PM (EST)]Most everyone who saw him play, agreed that Josh Gibson hit the longest homers ever. After reading this thread, and the similar one about longest homers by ballpark, it amazes me that the Ph.D.s of this world have not yet figured out how to accurately estimate the length of some of these monster shots. Based on speed and trajectory, air resistence, and some other basic rules of physics, one would think there would be some formula to more definitivily assess the projected distance a batted ball will travel. But, since all we have is anecdotal evidence and some guesswork, allow me to concur with some earlier observations. I've seen some real dingers, including Kingman, Glenallen Hill, Cecil Fielder, and , of course, Sosa, Bonds and McGuire. Boog Powell could knock the stuffing out of the ball when he got a hold of one, but in the sixties, the hardest hitter was easily Big Frank Howard. More than once he hit shots that were still ascending when they left the yard, or crashed through outfield seats. There was a persistent legend that he actually hit one between the pitcher's legs and out of the ballpark, (Griffith?) but that is one feat I would have had to see to believe.
Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words ~Ernie Harwell
Even with a strong wind no one ever hit a ball 734 ft! You could
give Mantle a 50mph tail wind, and he wouldn't hit it 650 ft.
Must have been the same air-head that said Gwynn was the greatest
ever compiling that list.
While I was over last year, Manny Ramirez hit one 501'in The Skydome which was, apparently, the second-longest ever by a Red Sock. Teddy's at Fenway (The red seat in RF, if you ever go) was 502'. I think that anything over 500' is simply amazing, and that much of the stuff over 550' has to be apocrhyphal, surely?!
I've received a lot of questions in regards to Mantle's 734 ft HR. Here is the only information I could find to support it from one of my favorite sites: themick.com.
734 feet (5/22/63, Yankee Stadium Façade* – Pitcher: Bill Fischer, Kansas City Athletics – Left-handed)
Mickey said that the "hardest ball I ever hit" came in the 11th inning on May 22, 1963 at Yankee Stadium. Leading off in the bottom of the 11th, with the score tied 7-7, A's pitcher Bill Fischer tried to blow a fastball past Mickey.
Bad idea. Mickey stepped into it and, with perfect timing, met the ball with the sweet spot of his bat, walloping it with everything he had. The sound of the bat colliding with the ball was likened to a cannon shot. The players on both benches jumped to their feet. Yogi Berra shouted, "That's it!" The ball rose in a majestic laser-like drive, rocketing into the night toward the farthest confines of Yankee Stadium. The question was never whether it was a home run or not. The question was whether this was going to be the first ball to be hit out of Yankee Stadium.
That it had the height and distance was obvious. But would it clear the façade, the decoration on the front side of the roof above the third deck in rightfield? "I usually didn't care how far the ball went so long as it was a home run. But this time I thought, 'This ball could go out of Yankee Stadium!'"
Just as the ball was about to leave the park, it struck the façade mere inches from the top with such ferocity that it bounced all the way back to the infield. That it won the game was an afterthought. Mickey just missed making history. It was the closest a ball has ever come to going out of Yankee Stadium in a regular season game.**
The question then became "How far would the ball have gone had the façade not prevented it from leaving the park?" Using geometry, it is possible to calculate the distance with some accuracy. The principle variable is how high the ball would have gone. If we assume the ball was at its apex at the point where it struck the façade, using the Pythagorean Theorem ("In a right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides") the distance would have been 636 feet. (For a more complete explanation of the calculations and complete description of this and other Mantle homers, see Explosion! by Mark Gallagher. This book is the definitive book on Mantle's homers. Unfortunately, it is out of print. It may be available at your local library.)
So how do we get 734 feet? In the example above, we assumed that the ball was at its apex when it struck the façade. However, observers were unanimous in their opinion that the ball was still rising when it hit the façade. How do we determine how high the ball would have gone? In fact, we cannot. From this point forward all numbers become guesses, estimates of how high we think the ball might have gone. A conservative estimate would be 20 feet. Those 20 feet make a major difference. They cause our calculation to go up almost 100 feet, to the 734 foot number listed above. Is 20 feet a fair estimate? Those present when the ball was hit feel that it would have gone at least that much higher, and many feel that the 20 foot number is far too low. It is all just a guess.
This is a good example of what can happen with estimates, especially computer estimates that determine the length of home runs now. Most of the home run distance numbers used today are the result of computer estimates of how far the ball would have traveled without obstruction. (One of these programs gave the 734 foot number listed.) Whether or not this is a fair number is a matter of opinion. However, if the distance of this home run is disputed, then the distance of many of the home runs hit by today's players must be questioned. While the software used for home run distances has greatly improved, there remain questions as to its accuracy. It is important to note that many of Mickey's home runs were measured to the point they actually landed, leaving no question about the accuracy of the distance reported.
* The façade was the decorative facing along the roof of the old Yankee Stadium. Mickey hit the façade in regular-season games at least three times during his career: May 5, 1956 off Moe Burtschy, May 20, 1956 off Pedro Ramos, and May 22, 1963 off Bill Fischer.
** Legend has it that Mickey hit balls completely out of Yankee Stadium up to three times during batting practices. Supposedly Mickey did it twice left-handed and once right-handed. Witnesses of these incredible feats include fans, stadium vendors, teammates and opposing players.
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I agree that HR estimations are not mathmatically perfect, but it is one of the great parts of this game... the legends and folklore. All we can do (if we weren't actual eyewitnesses) is try to research accounts from different sources and draw our own conclusions.
I believe Mickey (and other batters) are capable of defying logic and launching these rockets "out of the park", but it would have to be a perfect situation: perfect contact (on the sweet spot), at the perfect moment (ball spinning etc.) with the perfect conditions (wind speed and direction etc.) in order for this to happen. I really think it is possible, but very rare indeed.
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>The question then became "How far would the ball have gone
>had the façade not prevented it from leaving the park?"
I am disallusioned! Until now, I thought that "home run distance" referred to how far the ball ACTUALLY traveled before it hit something -- not "how far it WOULD HAVE GONE (had it not hit something on the way)".
Wanted to revive this thread because I earlier complained about the lack of scientific substantiation for really long homeruns. Eureka! I have found what may be the most accurate study of this, and the equation F=ma is what I had been after. F is force resulting, m is mass, and a is acceleration. The study was conducted using 100 mph. fastballs, heavy bats, and the fastest timed human swing, at sea level with no wind, at 72 degrees. Guess what? The guys in lab coats concluded that the furthest a batted ball under these conditions would travel is approximately 570 feet. Rarefied air, a tail wind, today's juiced ball, and the heavy bats being swung at greater acceleration than known since Ruth and Gibson could yield results 10-20% higher. I'm now satisfied that 700ft+ homeruns are only minor exagerations.
Baseball is a ballet without music. Drama without words ~Ernie Harwell
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-21-02 AT 03:50 PM (EDT)]No one can swing Ruth's bat (46oz) as fast as needed. No one has
ever hit a ball 700 ft.
The test if correct says max 570 ft...I'll buy that, and its unlikely
to have been done more than a few times. But now deduct for the lack
of 100 mph fastballs..how far if 95 mph? then you are looking at a
The correct reading on this is found in the Home Run Encyclopedia.
"...those regular references over the years of the 500-600 foot HR's
were born out of scientific INGORNANCE, MISINFORMATION, OR EVEN
"The most common cause for overstatement statement has been the basic misconception about the flight of the batted ball once it has reached
Balls that have hit the stadiums at app 400' from the plate and 70'
above the ground have been said to travel 550'...not so, more likely
a 100 ft less! or 450 ft.
Once the ball reaches its apex, it has lost most of its speed, and
Mantle's Hr in Washington 4/17/53 thought to be 565 feet, but in fact
that is where it was picked up by a child after it rolled to a stop.
ALL THESE TYPES OF REPORTS WERE MEDIA GENERATED BY THE NY PRESS
From 1982-1995, after an IBM computerized ststem was in place in all
the parks...ONLY ONE 500 FOOT HR WAS HIT! by Cecil Fielder on 9/14/91
in Milwaukee. (502 ft.)
What does that tell you about all the BS the press has people still
The players are bigger and stronger than Mantle ever was, and hit the
You can take all the 600 ft + hr's and trash them; then take off 50 ft
from the rest of the suspected distances, and you may be close to the
Any talk of 734 feet was a total fabrication on the NY press' part
and anyone who knows anything about the game knows that it was impossible, even with today's baseball.
McGwire, who could squeeze Mantle's body into a rag, wasn't credited
with a HR more than 540 ft as I recall, the year he hit 70.
The computerized system has stopped the lies about how far the ball
So in view of the fact that McGwire, Fielder and others are much
bigger and stronger than Mantle ever was, and todays ball is more
likely to travel farther...and only one HR between '82 and '95
before the "Hot Ball", was hit 500 ft, and none since the "Hot Ball"
have gone even 575 ft...why would anyone continue to promote the
rediculas idea that Mantle ever hit a ball 734 ft, which is impossible
to do, even with a "Hot Ball" and a 50 mph wind.
Get over it, Mantle never hit a ball 700', he never hit a ball 650'
and he never hit a ball 600'..
That trumped up list on a previous post, was nothing more than the NY media hype BS.
Ruth is the only one credited with hitting multiple 500 ft HR's, one
in each park in 1921..these were measure by media people who stayed
outside the stadiums to se where the ball actually hit the ground
Some of these may be incorrect, due to the apparent quality of the
logical thinking, and mathematical experts we have in this country.
734 feet, right...and "Cool Papa" could hit the light switch, and be
under the covers before the light went out......
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-22-02 AT 02:17 PM (EDT)]It's sad that we have become so anal retentive in this post... Your right, I agree that a lot of these homeruns were exaggerated by the press, but that's what made these players larger than life heroes. What happened to the mystery, legends and folklore of the past? We could probably sit down with a Baseball Almanac or Encyclopedia at a computer and crunch numbers for hours disproving many records, facts and statistics that were recorded "back in the day", but why would you even want to? Part of the magic of this game is the "unknowns"... Did Ruth really call his shot? Did Mantle almost hit one out of Yankee stadium? Who cares? It's a great story and baseball is full of them.
Part of my post did say that: "This is a good example of what can happen with estimates, especially computer estimates that determine the length of home runs now. Most of the home run distance numbers used today are the result of computer estimates of how far the ball would have traveled without obstruction. (One of these programs gave the 734 foot number listed.) Whether or not this is a fair number is a matter of opinion. However, if the distance of this home run is disputed, then the distance of many of the home runs hit by today's players must be questioned. While the software used for home run distances has greatly improved, there remain questions as to its accuracy."
This was taken directly off of themick.com. As well as this:
"No one in the history of the game has hit the ball farther than Mickey Mantle. His 565-foot home run hit at Griffith Stadium in Washington on April 17, 1953 is the home run that coined the term "tape measure home run." It's listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest home run ever measured. Guinness also notes that Mickey's 643-foot homer hit at Detroit's Tiger Stadium on September 10, 1960 is the longest home run measured "mathematically after the fact."
Yes, we know it may be exaggerated, but stop taking this so seriously and sit back and enjoy the game of baseball. It is a GAME that does not require the use of scientific theory in order to appreciate it.
And don't compare a "pharmaceutically enhanced athlete" like Mark McGwire (by his own admissions) to a player like Mickey Mantle, who was lucky if he could walk out on the field and played constantly in pain. It's not fair as he suffered from osteomyelitis, numerous injuries and had frequent surgeries. McGwire is a great hitter, but he plays in a different game in a different era.
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[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-22-02 AT 02:16 PM (EDT)]True. I don't argue that fact and I don't mean to insult McGwire, (he is a great power hitter) BUT I think it's inappropriate to compare many players of today to the players of yesterday. Athletes in general have access to more physical conditioning enhancements and options than the players "back in the day". They eat healthier today (due to their own nutritionists), work out better (due to their own personal trainers), and have many other options at their disposal.
Give me those old time, crusty ballplayers that chain-smoked non-filtered cigarettes or cigars, drank booze (instead of spring water), lived off of old fashioned, fatty, greasy All-American cooking and still made it to the ballpark everyday! haha!
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We will never know who hit the longest home run, impossible to say with any certainty.I would be willing to bet that there is not that much difference in footage if you ranked the 10 longest home runs ever. When you talk about balls hit in the 475 to 500 plus foot distance how much further can hitter "A" hit a ball than hitter "B", "C" or "D". At the expense of opening that can of worms again there appears to be little doubt that the number of home runs exploded in the early to mid 1990s and the every day long home run was born in the early to mid 1990s due to the smaller strike zone and a suspect ball.There are a few other factors,smaller parks, death of the knock down pitch, and expansion. I discounted bigger and stronger players because I am dealing with one decade, the 1990s. I find it hard to believe hitters got that much stronger in the middle to late 1990s compared to the hitters of the early 1990s.One look at home run stats, individual and team before 1995 and after 1995 tells one the game changed, not the players, even if you omit the short season in 1994 and 1995.
Unfair to compare Mantle to McGwire with out factoring in the conditions in Mantle's May's and Killebrews time. No one can knock Mac, amongst the best at hitting many and hitting them far. That being said after watching ESPN highlights of Mac's home runs,a very, very high percentage were in the same location between the knees and the belt, right where he likes them. The lower strike zone in the 1990s gave the hitters an advantage, a smaller zone to watch, more favorable hitters counts and the luxury of not worrying about the high hard one, let it go by and it will be called a ball almost every time.
Batting average in the NL was .256 in 1990 and .266 in 2000. Batting aveage in the AL was.259 in 1990 and .276 in 2000.
Not discussing home runs or strength here, just to show the rise in batting averages in one decade, yet Bud Selig claims the offensive explosion in the mid 1990s is the result of bigger stronger players. Not in one decade Bud, it's a whole new ball game. Averages did drop a bit in 2001, probably to a little correction in the strike zone. Yes we had an explosion in the 1920s but we know why, a tighter wound ball, scuffed up balls tossed out of the game and the banning of trick deliveries. Mantle and Killebrew to name a few did not have the privilege of having their bombs etched in the fans minds via nightly ESPN highlights, as todays player do. These two guy on average hit them as far as any hitter in the game, under tougher conditions.
Well, some how I strayed off the main theme here, the longest home runs but felt like I had to get out the point when comparing the long ball, lets look at the whole picture. If we are to compare the 1990s to the 1920s-50s or 1960s lets factor in the the changing conditions.
[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-23-02 AT 05:21 AM (EDT)]Don't take me wrong, I always liked Mantle, and I understand what a
media person's job is, or a publicist job(spelling??)
#42 has me nuts
over my spelling; little does he know, that I am on medication, and sometimes dbl hit the same key, and if I don't check, I let mistakes slip through; not withstanding other mistakes, and the fact that my
eyesight is rapidly declining)
Its just when it appears that if someone trying to learn something
about the history of the game, to promote the absolute wrong infro
I EDITED OUT A EST OF THE DISTANCE A BALL TRAVELS AFTER REACHING ITS
APEX....MY ORIGIONAL THOUGHT MAY BE INCORRECT...NOT SURE OF % OF DROP
Mabe I am unclear when I talk about "illusions" etc...that's what
certain people get paid to do. But in a previous post, I had a like-
able contributor take it as an attack against his favorite player,
where that wasn't the intention.
When statements of fact become a problem, in the minds of a few, and
when political correctness takes over any open discussion, our ability
to learn is jeopardized...ie: an edited post of mine, using the big
bad "N" word, relating to how Gibson straightened McCarver out, after
he chased a little black kid off the spring training field.
And all you have to do is turn on the tv and listen to what's being
said, or roll down your car window at a red light and listen to the
"INTELLIGENT LYRICS" of our esteemed youth.
I admit I am a little too adamit about it, and I'll try to tone it
down...but reserve the right to react when someone misreads my posts
and start accusing me of slandering some retired players memory...
I will state the facts, which speak for themselves.
"PHARMACEUTICALLY ENHANCED"....you got that right...And I had the
privilge of being at the game when Az disposed of the Cardinals last
year, and watched in delight as the big ape struck out three times,
and ended his careear walking back to the dougout being lifted for
I developed a dislike for him, when he ran around hugging the Maris
family after he hit #62...like he was King Kong, beating his chest.
....WHAT A JOKE!....Am I the only one who saw those "GROVED" pitches
the last two games of that year...4 hr's; I don't recall one pitch
being above the belt...they made sure Sammy didn't win the race.
I'am sorry about slaming the #'s..but 734 drives me nuts, when its
physically impossible....Take the experiment...100mph 46oz bat=570'
w/o wind...now take 95% of that 100mph (a more likely speed) and
all of a sudden your at 541.5 ft....But the players can't swing that 46 oz bat through the zone in order to catch the 95+mph ball.
The big ape w/ all the "Legal Drugs" and the "Hot" ball never hit
one 575 that year...no one ever did, especially with the old ball.
But I believe that Mantle would have hit 70 if playing in his prime under these conditions. And Ruth 80+ with the 46oz'er he was a freak!
Sorry guys, I didn't mean to come off so seriously either. I completely understand your points. My intetention was to put out what I have read to be "accurate estimations" from the official Mickey Mantle site and then in another reply, to state that there are so many questions in baseball history that we will never know the definitive answers.
We all love the game and probably spend more time on it than the average fans. I had a problem with Mickey being called a "drunk". Yes he was an alcoholic and it eventually killed him, but there no reason to bring that up. It's cool. Lets move on and enjoy the rest of the season!
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