# Thread: Measure of a homer

1. ## Measure of a homer

Measure of a homer
Curious about how the distance of a long ball calculated?
BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Watching Adam Dunn's home run sail out of Great American Ball Park Thursday night, I was almost sure the it went over the Cincinnati sign between the big smokestacks.

It was one of those things you see, but you don't quite believe. But the replay showed the ball did clear the sign by a good 10 feet, roughly 50 feet above the turf in left-center. The smokestacks are 58 feet, three inches high.

A little later, Rob Butcher, the Reds' crack media relations director, announced the shot had traveled an estimated 479 feet.

Not that it matters - Dunn himself said they all count the same - but we were curious:

How do they come up with 479 feet? Could they be sure it wasn't 478? Or 480?

My guess would have been 520 feet, give or take 10 yards.

Russ Jenisch, the Reds' director of scoreboard operations, thought the same thing.

"I said, '479? It had to be farther,' " Jenisch said. He has more than a passing interest. The scoreboard operators calculate the distance of home runs at Great American Ball Park.

Jay Henry was the guy at the computer Thursday night. He clicked on where he thought the ball left the yard and clicked "high trajectory."

That's how 479 popped up. Had he punched in "medium trajectory" it would have said 486.

The other choice is "line drive" trajectory.

It's a slightly inexact science. Jenisch, for instance, thought Joe Randa's home run Thursday, which went an estimated 371 feet, was closer to 350.

"But Jay used a line-drive trajectory with that one," Jenisch said.

No matter how they calculate it, Dunn hits some mammoth home runs.

The one he hit Aug. 11, 2004, off Jose Lima of the Los Angeles Dodgers, went far enough that the Reds measured it rather than go with an estimation. That's the ball that cleared the right-field stands, hit on Mehring Way, bounced onto the river bank and came to rest on piece of driftwood. The actual measurement on that one was 535 feet.

Baseball historian Bill Jenkinson called it the longest-recorded home run in baseball history, edging a 531-foot shot Dave Kingman hit at Wrigley Field April 14, 1976.

Dunn's shot is the only 500-footer in Great American Ball Park history.

Wily Mo Peņa's shot to left on April 14 of last year was estimated at 498 feet.

Wonder if they used line drive, medium or high trajectory on that bad boy?

THE LIST

The Reds' all-time home run leaders:

1: Johnny Bench, 389

2: Frank Robinson, 324

3: Tony Perez, 287

4: Ted Kluszewski, 251

5: George Foster, 244

6: Eric Davis, 203

7: Barry Larkin, 198

9: Wally Post, 172

10: (tie): Adam Dunn, 160; Gus Bell, 160

Question, from Bruce: "I know it's early, but was just thinking... If Edwin (Encarnacion) continues to struggle offensively in the next month, what are the solutions to third base? Would Ryan Freel fill that position, so that Tony Womack and Freel would be everyday players?

Answer: It's earlier than early, Bruce. In fairness, his e-mail came before Encarnacion's pinch-hit in the clutch Thursday night. But the Reds will give Encarnacion lots of rope. He looked like their best player in the spring. I think he'll be at third all summer. But should he get hurt or benched, the backup plan is Rich Aurilia, not Freel.

I've received a lot of e-mails lately asking why Ken Griffey Jr. (left) changed his number from 30 to 3.

It is not a sneaky plan by Major League Baseball to sell more merchandise. It is simply a gesture by Junior to honor his three children.

MINOR MATTERS

Of the Reds' Opening Day starting pitchers in the minors, left-hander Phil Dumatrait was easily the best. Dumatrait, 24, pitched six innings of Double-A Chattanooga's 2-0 loss to Jacksonville. He struck out five and walked none.

Dumatrait came to the Reds from Boston in the Scott Williamson trade in 2003. He missed all of 2004 after having Tommy John elbow surgery.

He was 4-12 with a 3.17 ERA for Chattanooga last year, clearly a victim of the low pitch-count edict. He allowed only 115 hits in 127 2/3 innings.

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...604090355/1071

4. ## Re: Measure of a homer

Thanks I always have wondered how certain they really are!

5. ## Re: Measure of a homer

So basically it's just a guesstamation ? .I have always wondered how exact these numbers were .Now as a suggestion for home games couldnt they get distances from home plate to each row of seating and diffrent parts of G.A.B. ? So at least they the annoucers would have a better idea of exactly how far some of thes homeruns actually are ?

6. ## Re: Measure of a homer

Originally Posted by cinredsfan2000
So basically it's just a guesstamation ? .I have always wondered how exact these numbers were .Now as a suggestion for home games couldnt they get distances from home plate to each row of seating and diffrent parts of G.A.B. ?
Except that would serious under-value shots in the upper deck or shots that carom off of a surface with quite a bit of kinetic energy still in them. Dunn's monster blast was easy to measure because they had two fixed points BOTH ON THE SAME PLANE.

The problem with measuring shots into the stands is that you have to estimate how much farther that ball would have travelled had it not been stopped by an obstruction (the stands themselves). That is why they need the trajectory estimates.

7. ## Re: Measure of a homer

That was a good read in todays Enquirer, always curious about that.

There is a new system in tennis called Hawk-eye (also mentioned in SI this week) that does a stimulated replay of where the ball landed, most useful for players who challenge a call. It's not exactly the same, but I wonder if eventually something similar could be produced for home runs. Granted, taking into account the energy coming off Dunns blasts is going to be a LOT more than most major leaguers.

8. ## Re: Measure of a homer

I've received a lot of e-mails lately asking why Ken Griffey Jr. (left) changed his number from 30 to 3.

It is not a sneaky plan by Major League Baseball to sell more merchandise. It is simply a gesture by Junior to honor his three children.
You know, I keep hearing this explanation from announcers (radio and tv) and beat writers. However, I'm 99.9% positive that I read an article during ST quoting KGJr himself as saying he changed his number to '3' because both his older children (Trey and Teryn) wear that number in each of their respective sports.

9. ## Re: Measure of a homer

Originally Posted by TeamBoone
You know, I keep hearing this explanation from announcers (radio and tv) and beat writers. However, I'm 99.9% positive that I read an article during ST quoting KGJr himself as saying he changed his number to '3' because both his older children (Trey and Teryn) wear that number in each of their respective sports.
I heard the same thing shortly after last season ended, somewhere around November/December I think. It was on WLW and just a little blurb during the sports news.

10. ## Re: Measure of a homer

For those who might be interested... There is a homerun calculator also. If you use that you would is if dunns homerun was over 500 ft it would probably cleared the outside fence onto merhing way. To go into the river, a ball would have to travel about 580 ft.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASAp...longest_hr.jsp

11. ## Re: Measure of a homer

The one he hit Aug. 11, 2004, off Jose Lima of the Los Angeles Dodgers, went far enough that the Reds measured it rather than go with an estimation. That's the ball that cleared the right-field stands, hit on Mehring Way, bounced onto the river bank and came to rest on piece of driftwood. The actual measurement on that one was 535 feet.

Baseball historian Bill Jenkinson called it the longest-recorded home run in baseball history, edging a 531-foot shot Dave Kingman hit at Wrigley Field April 14, 1976.
Did anyone else think that Mickey Mantle owned the longest recorded homer in history? I always heard stories about the one that Mantle hit over the right field upper deck facade at Yankee Stadium.

Supposedly, many times Mantle had dented the metal flashing that trimed the stadium at that time (has since been removed after one of their many renovations.) But this particular homer left the park entirely on the fly. I read that some ambitious writer or something did painstaking calculations and found that Mantle's homer traveled approximately 600 feet.

Does this ring a bell with anyone? Paging WOY....come in WOY....

12. ## Re: Measure of a homer

Nice read. It's like cell phone technology. The system is not flawless, but its a round/abou science.

I was at a game last season in which Dunn hit a ball off John Smoltz to dead center. It was a line drive (BUT HIGH) that cleared the structure in center field. I don't know if anyone remembers this homerun, no one really has talked about it but I know it was the opener of the Atlanta series and it looked like a 500 footer. Wonder how long it was.

13. ## Re: Measure of a homer

Originally Posted by Blimpie
Did anyone else think that Mickey Mantle owned the longest recorded homer in history? I always heard stories about the one that Mantle hit over the right field upper deck facade at Yankee Stadium.

Supposedly, many times Mantle had dented the metal flashing that trimed the stadium at that time (has since been removed after one of their many renovations.) But this particular homer left the park entirely on the fly. I read that some ambitious writer or something did painstaking calculations and found that Mantle's homer traveled approximately 600 feet.

Does this ring a bell with anyone? Paging WOY....come in WOY....
No one has ever hit a fair ball out of Yankee Stadium except perhaps Josh Gibson.

14. ## Re: Measure of a homer

Originally Posted by Chip R
No one has ever hit a fair ball out of Yankee Stadium except perhaps Josh Gibson.
I have no idea where I heard what I posted, but I heard it a long time ago. I'm gonna do a little digging and see what I come up with.

15. ## Re: Measure of a homer

Okay, maybe this is the Mantle homer that I was thinking about. Sounds like it was Tiger Stadium and not Yankee Stadium...

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/art_hr.shtml

Not surprisingly, all of the great true distance hitters have also been the source of the greatest exaggerations. Despite his extraordinary accomplishments, Babe Ruth is not immune. His tremendous blow to right-center field in Detroit on June 8, 1926, has often been reported as traveling over 600 feet. Certainly, this drive was propelled somewhere around 500 feet in the air, which makes it legitimately historic, but proof that it traveled 600 feet cannot be found. When Mickey Mantle cleared the left-center-field bleachers at Clark Griffith Stadium in Washington on April 17, 1953, the entire baseball world was lead to believe the ball had traveled 565 feet from home plate to the point where it landed. In truth, that figure derived from the distance from home plate to the place where a neighborhood child retrieved the ball. Since this home run was the only one that ever cleared those bleachers during decades of major league and Negro League competition, it is genuinely deserving of recognition. However, the actual distance in the air was probably about 510 feet. The same process was at work for Mantle on September 10, 1960, in Detroit, where his right-center-field rooftopper was reported to have traveled more than 600 feet. From interviews with the surviving source of the original data, it is readily apparent once again that the all had bounced several times before it reached the estimated distance.

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