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Where would the SHRTW have landed in today's parks?

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  • Where would the SHRTW have landed in today's parks?

    As we know, the Polo Grounds giveth and the Polo Grounds taketh away with regards to home runs over the years, but I've been more than dumbfounded with the general attitude amongst uneducated fans (at least uneducated with regards to the PG) that Thomson's historic homer in 1951 was an easy out in most other ballparks.

    So I decided to take it upon myself to try to estimate where Thomson's shot would have landed in some of today's ballparks.

    I started with this photo, to try to determine how close to the foul pole Thomson's homer actually was when in cleared the wall, which was 16 feet high at that point of the PG, I believe.

    Pafko at the Wall.jpg

    If the wall was 16 feet high, looking at the photo, it appears that Pafko is approximately 20 feet or so from the foul line, taking into account the odd angle that the outfield wall moves away from the foul pole at this point in the park. The ball flew above the 315 sign (give or take a bit) and just to the left of the support post for section 34. It landed in the lower deck due to the homer's very low trajectory.

    So, the ball cleared a 16 foot fence, at a point approximately 16 or 17 feet from the foul pole.

    I'm calling it a 330 foot, line drive homer. I think this is pretty close.

    So then.......

    Just for fun.....where would this still legendary Shot Heard Round The World have landed in one of today's ballparks? Google Earth is an extraordinary progrma that provides highly detailed satellite images of anyplace on earth (which is just fun) but also provides a measuring tool, allowing the user to very accurately measure from point A to point b anywhere on the planet.

    Such as drawing a 330 foot line from home plate out towards a point 16 or so feet away from the foul line at modern ballparks.

    Enjoy..... keep in mind that this might not be the most scientific analysis ever done of the SHRTW, but it's not too far off imo, if at all, and certainly good enough for a lively discussion on this board.

    Yankee Stadium.... might have been a home run there....

    SHRTW Yankee.jpg

    A line drive rattling around down in the corner at New Busch Stadium.....

    SHRTW Busch III.jpg

    I'm having trouble with some of my images that I captured, but you get the idea. Anyone interested in this... should I keep going/trying?

    "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."

  • #2
    Thomson's HR in game one in the Ebbets Field is a flyball out in the Polo Grounds. His HR in game three is a flyball out in Ebbets Field.

    It's not only when you hit it, but it is where you hit it.


    • #3
      I've read that several eyewitnesses stated that Thomson's home run was unusual (at least for the Polo Grounds) becuase it was rising as it hit the lower deck. If that is the case, then I think it would be difficult to predict how far it may have gone in a more traditionally designed stadium.


      • #4
        The ball was not rising... it was sinking. I have an interview/mp3 (from a baseball podcast) in which both Branca and Thomson state the ball was sinking fast. I believe it is titled "Baseball's Greatest Hits" and the episode is about Ernie Harwell's career if you would like to look it up on itunes.

        The ball was however, hit EXTREMELY hard. Very few home runs were hit into the lower deck of the left field stands at the PG in 1951 (or any year, really.) for several reasons.

        Joshua Prager's excellent book, The Echoing Green discusses this. If I recall correctly only two or three of the HR's hit to left all season landed in the lower deck.

        The overhang, the scoreboard, and the limited distance between the upper deck and the lower deck made for a very small "window" for a ball to make it out of the park, but land in the lower deck.

        You really had to hit a hard line drive, which stayed on a low trajectory for quite a long distance as well, to hit a lower deck homer.

        So, in that regard, it was unusual indeed.

        But not too difficult to predict, in my opinon.

        The homer landed in the first few rows, above a 315 foot sign, over a 16 foot fence, and was as hard a line drive as you can imagine.

        So, nearing the end of the lines I have drawn, the ball is still at least 16 feet in the air, and finally sinking a little.
        "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."


        • #5
          Fenway Park.....

          Certainly, the ball was not hit high enough to clear the Green Monster, but rather would have crashed into it about half way up. A higher hit, 330 foot shot would have landed here......

          SHRTW Fenway.jpg

          Hey Ed Tarbusz..... this is all in fun anyway, as the exact distance of Thomson's homer cannot be exactly determined, of course.

          I find it interesting that there are modern parks in which the ball might have been a home run in anyway, dispelling the notion that it was something of a lesser home run due to the PG's gloriously unique dimensions.

          "Herman Franks to Sal Yvars to Bobby Thomson. Ralph Branca to Bobby Thomson to Helen Rita... cue Russ Hodges."


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