Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The not so long ball

What I like most about the home run derby is the possibility that someone might hit a 500 foot home run. It doesn't happen often. In fact, before this year's home run derby, Sammy Sosa and Frank Thomas were the only two players to hit a 500 foot home run in the derby. So you can imagine my excitement when Bobby Abreu blasted one 517 feet. I thought it was my lucky day. The reality is that Abreu probably didn't hit a 500 foot home run. Likewise, Sosa and the "Big Hurt" probably didn't any either. This article sets the record straight on 500 foot home runs or lack thereof . For as long as I can remember, I've heard about Mickey Mantle's 565 foot blast that was most likely the longest home run ever hit. The likelihood is that Mickey's blast probably travelved 505 feet and that's with considerable help from the elements.

Here is the scientific stance on home run distances:

"According to three physicists who have worked independently and have written extensively on the science of baseball, the human limit for hitting a baseball at sea level, under normal temperatures and with no wind, is somewhere between 450 feet and 470 feet."

I think this is an interesting revelation because it changes what is considered a mammoth-blast. Until now, whenever I heard anything starting with 4-- I immediately dismissed it because it wasn't 500 or longer. The fact of the matter is that there probably have been one or two 500 foot home runs in MLB history. As the article states, this means that 460 feet is truly a monumental blast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I had a friend who "hit" a 400 pound chick. I'd like to see the physics report on that "long ball." Yuk.


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