Mickey Mantle Crushes 656 Feet Spring Training Homer Print E-mail
Written by Jim Rednour   
Friday, 28 February 2014
March 26, 1951

In 1951 the Yankees trained in Arizona instead of Fort Lauderdale. The dry desert air and higher altitude are conducive to the longball, 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 leftfield wall, with a number of houses in the neighborhood across from the park.  During the game Mickey belted two spectacular blasts, one from each side of the plate. They were two of the longest home runs ever seen.

The first blast, hit right-handed, was a high drive that easily cleared the left-field 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.





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