NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — On Thursday night, Yoenis Cespedes became the first player ever to crush a home run into the third deck of Citi Field. His 466-foot blast tied the record at the 7-year-old ballpark in Flushing.
We thought it would be a good time to look at some of the longest bombs hit at New York stadiums, even those no longer standing. Of course, the distance of home runs hasn’t always been reliably tracked and some tales may have been exaggerated, but we’ll give it a whirl anyway.
Cespedes’ homer off John Lackey in Thursday’s 4-3 win over the Cubs matched the distance of one clobbered by Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton off of Alex Torres on May 30, 2015, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The previous Citi Field record was also held by Stanton (465 feet).
NEW YANKEE STADIUM
On May 22, 2009, just weeks after the stadium opened, Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez sent a Chien-Ming Wang pitch soaring into the right-center field stands, traveling 477 feet.
The longest home run hit by a Yankee there came on June 10, 2011, when Alex Rodriguez belted a 460-foot shot off Cleveland’s Roberto Hernandez.
OLD YANKEE STADIUM
Mickey Mantle hit a number of tape-measure shots. But on May 22, 1963, he hit one that people are still talking about more than a half-century later. In the 11th inning of a game against the Kansas City A’s, Mantle clobbered a Bill Fischer pitch so hard to right field that it struck the decorative facade at the top of the stadium and nearly became the only fair ball ever to leave the ballpark entirely. ESPN Stats & Information estimates the ball sailed 503 feet. Other estimates say, unimpeded, it would have traveled 734 feet.
But as impressive as that was, there was another homer hit at the House That Ruth Built that was said to be longer. On June 3, 1937, Josh Gibson, the Negro League great from the Homestead Grays, also hit a home run near the top of the facade that The Sporting News reported went 580 feet.
According to the book “Baseball’s Ultimate Power” by Bill Jenkinson, Dave Kingman of the Mets hit a 515-foot homer to left-center field on Aug. 14, 1981. The ball was still traveling high and fast when it passed the sign in left-center field marking 396 feet.
Mo Vaughn, Mark McGwire and Todd Hundley also hit homers estimated at more than 500 feet at Shea, with Hundley’s hitting a bus in the right-field parking lot. And in 1969, Tommie Agee hit the only fair ball to land in the upper deck in left field at the Mets’ former home.
On June 17, 1956, Joe Adcock, of the Milwaukee Braves, hit a game-winning, ninth-inning homer to left-center field off the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Ed Roebuck that landed on the double-deck roof of Ebbets Field before rolling off into a parking lot on Montgomery Street. It’s unclear if that was indeed the longest home run ever hit at Ebbets, but it certainly seems to be the longest one that people still talk about today.
Just hitting a home run over the center-field fence at the New York Giants’ quirky ballpark was a Herculean feat. It was 483 feet to dead center, and only four people ever did it — Luke Easter in a Negro Leagues game, Hank Aaron, Lou Brock and Adcock.
As for other homers there, the legendary Honus Wagner is said to have belted a homer of about 500 feet. And Josh Gibson crushed one out of the stadium. According to another Negro League great, Buck Leonard, minutes after Gibson’s blast, a man walked into the stadium asking, “Who the hell hit the ball over here on the train track?”