Mickey Mantle Crushes 656 Feet Spring Training Homer
Written by Jim Rednour
Thursday, 24 February 2011
In 1951 the Yankees trained in Arizona instead of Fort
Lauderdale. The dry desert air and higher altitude are conducive to the long
ball, and Mickey made the most of it.
Bovard Field at the University of Southern California is
a small ball diamond with a football field adjacent to right and
right-centerfield.A street runs
outside and parallel to the left field wall, with a number of houses in the
neighborhood across from the park.During the game – on March 26, 1951, Mickey belted two spectacular
blasts, one from each side of the plate. They were two of the longest home runs
The first blast, hit right-handed, was a high drive that
easily cleared the leftfield wall. It crossed the street running parallel to
the park and traveled more than 600 feet before landing on the roof of the
third house down on the street outside Bovard Field.
But Mickey wasn't finished. His second homer came
left-handed.Mickey rocketed the
ball over the right-centerfield wall, across the adjacent football field,
finally landing on the far sideline and hopping over the fence bordering the
field. The distance: 656 feet to the point where it first landed! 19-year-old
Mickey Mantle had just hit the longest home run in baseball history!
In a single, pre-season game Mantle hit two homers that
were longer than most major league players hit in a career. The distance of the
second homer is well documented. The USC outfielder, Tom Riach, and legendary
USC coach Rod Dedeaux both saw the exact spot where the ball landed. Later each
separately went out and pointed to the spot. They were two feet apart. Said
Dedeaux, "It was a superhuman feat."
Before Mickey played a single major league game he'd
become a legend.
Click here to see The Mick’s 10 longest home runs.