Free Trial Ad
Why Subscribe?
  • Player/Prospect News
  • Exclusive Insider Info
  • Members-Only Forums
  • Exclusive Videos
  • Subscribe Now!
InboxChat RoomChat Room (0 fans in chatroom)
Post New Topic
  Page of 10  Next >

Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever?

Posted: 7/5/2007 2:27 AM

Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 




Grandforks, one of the very best posters on this site, has submitted one of his usually interesting posts titled "Some Fast Players." 

In it, he notes that Mickey Mantle has the fastest documented time from home to first.  Relying on a Sporting News article, he cites Mantle's speed from home to first as 3.1  This is a widely reported number, and I have even read 3.0 from the left side.

He further argues that contemporary observers noted Mantle's speed:

Mickey Mantle did work Willie Mays never came near doing. He outran everyone...

...We looked in wonder at Mickey Mantle, amazed that anyone could do any of the things he did...

Bill Dickey (from the Sporting News):  "...we divided the boys up for a series of 75-yard sprints, Mickey finished first in his group, looking over his shoulder at the others. Then we had a sprint for the winners and he won that, too. Then he got sick and explained that he wasn't in shape."

"I honestly believe Mantle is the fastest man I've ever seen in a baseball uniform."

Casey Stengel (from The Sporting News):  "My God," he said on seeing Mantle at work, "the boy runs faster than Cobb."

In this post, Gforks lists the times of the fastest players in 1952, according to the Sporting News.

As many of you know, Ichiro is the fastest runner from home in the last few years, with a speed of somewhere between 3.7 and 3.8, depending on the source. 

We are left, then, to reflect on whether Mickey Mantle's time really was that fast.  If so,

1)  He is faster than any player in major league history, or, conservatively speaking, at least since the 1950s.
2)  Ichiro, the fastest player among a world-wide pool of talent, would rank behind half a dozen white guys if he were to have played in 1952.  Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Vince Coleman et al would fall behind the likes of Gil McDougald, Johnny Groth, and Gene Woodling.
3)  Mantle would not only be the fastest guy in baseball history, but also faster than Ben Johnson, who, (1) running from a set position against a device to push off from, (2) in running shoes, (3) on a cinder track, and (4) on steroids, could only muster a 4.25 40 yard dash (in the midst of his record-setting 100 meter dash).

Another possibility is that he was the fastest guy of his time, but that hand-timed devices and legend have exaggerated his time a bit.

Which of the following do you think most accurately describes Mickey Mantle?

Btw, Gforks, if I have some how misrepresented your argument or biased the preface, please add in your thoughts in succeeding posts.  Thanks!  I will refrain from voting.

    Which best describes Mantle's speed?

  1. Poll closed on 07/24/2007
  2. Fastest player ever: 11 votes
  3. Very fast, but not as fast as today's fastest: 12 votes

Last edited 7/5/2007 2:29 AM by rmyawn

Posted: 7/5/2007 9:44 AM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



rmyawn wrote:

2)  Ichiro, the fastest player among a world-wide pool of talent, would rank behind half a dozen white guys if he were to have played in 1952.  Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Vince Coleman et al would fall behind the likes of Gil McDougald, Johnny Groth, and Gene Woodling.

Btw, Gforks, if I have some how misrepresented your argument or biased the preface, please add in your thoughts in succeeding posts.  Thanks!  I will refrain from voting.



I don't have a lot of time this morning, so I will have to be brief.  Here are my points of contention:

1) Ichiro is NOT the fastest player today.  Joey Gathright's 3.3 leaves Ichiro's 3.7 in the dust.

2)  Do we have the times for Raines or Coleman?  If not, how do you know they were clocked slower than those darn white guys?
 
3)  I suppose that it would be easier to stomache if Mantle wasn't white (or at least that's the vibe that I'm getting).  But there wasn't a doubt about who the fastest player was when Mantle played.  And it wasn't Jackie Robinson or Willie Mays.
Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 10:05 AM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 


he was in my opinion, the fastest ever !!! he could hit a groundball to second and beat it out, i rarely see that today, if he bunted to break a slump, he would beat it out, he did not have great base stealing skills, yet he was rarely caught, would go, on avg 14 out of 18 for the season, casey didn't want him running, he might not have gotten the best jump on a ball hit to the OF , like a joe "D" or a jimmy piersall, but he ran just about everything down, he did give up alot as he got more and more injured, in the fifty's he was unstoppable, he was still fast in the sixty's dispite having to be taped up literally from "head to toe" !!! anybody suggesting that his speed is becoming more legend then fact,is crazy, the guy was un real, i've never seen anyone who can match him to this day !!!

never,ever will there be a player with the speed and power of the mighty mick !!!

that says it all !!!

"If you were sitting out past the 457 marker in left center field in the last row, in the bleachers and he started to walk to the plate,you knew who he was, you didn't need mel allen to tell you !!!"  

Posted: 7/5/2007 11:09 AM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 


I am sure that Mickey Mantle had blazing speed.  Whether he was the faster player ever or not is an impossible question to answer.  I don't trust the clocking devices to make that argument as I believe players have become stronger and faster over time.  Was he a complete freak of nature for his time that his times are still much faster than the fastest today?  I doubt it.  Would he be comparable to the fastest guys today and ever?  Most likely.

Posted: 7/5/2007 11:21 AM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



Bob420 wrote: I believe players have become stronger and faster over time.  Was he a complete freak of nature for his time that his times are still much faster than the fastest today?  I doubt it.  Would he be comparable to the fastest guys today and ever?  Most likely.


Real quick -- Name all of these stronger players that have hit the ball as far as Mantle did.  It must be a fairly long list, so naming a couple should be real easy.

Babe Ruth hit 245 homeruns over 450 feet.  That is still a major league record.  In fact, the next closest total is 115.  Mantle ranks #3 on that list.

Prior to the 2000 season, Barry Bonds had hit three over 450 feet.  A whopping total of three -- and they were all wind-aided shots.  That's three in his first 14 seasons.  Balco Barry (all after the age of 35) hit 34 over the next five seasons.

Last edited 7/5/2007 11:25 AM by grandforks

Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 11:48 AM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



grandforks wrote:
Bob420 wrote: I believe players have become stronger and faster over time.  Was he a complete freak of nature for his time that his times are still much faster than the fastest today?  I doubt it.  Would he be comparable to the fastest guys today and ever?  Most likely.


Real quick -- Name all of these stronger players that have hit the ball as far as Mantle did.  It must be a fairly long list, so naming a couple should be real easy.

Babe Ruth hit 245 homeruns over 450 feet.  That is still a major league record.  In fact, the next closest total is 115.  Mantle ranks #3 on that list.

Prior to the 2000 season, Barry Bonds had hit three over 450 feet.  A whopping total of three -- and they were all wind-aided shots.  That's three in his first 14 seasons.  Balco Barry (all after the age of 35) hit 34 over the next five seasons.


How do we know their measurement devices were as accurate then?

Weren't the fences further back so there was less of a chance of balls striking seats, stopping the flight of the ball and creating the headache of projecting the actual distance?

I feel like nowadays, the parks are so small that things always get in the way of the true path of the HR and it is harder to find out exactly how far it would have flown.

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:00 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



PSUinNYC312 wrote:

How do we know their measurement devices were as accurate then?


Ross -- They actually had rulers and tape measures back then.  There are even rumors that people actually knew how to read and write back then.  However, those rumors have never been proven, so I wouldn't put a lot of faith in them.
Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:02 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



grandforks wrote:
PSUinNYC312 wrote:

How do we know their measurement devices were as accurate then?


Ross -- They actually had rulers and tape measures back then.  There are even rumors that people actually knew how to read and write back then.  However, those rumors have never been proven, so I wouldn't put a lot of faith in them.
HAHAHA. I'm just saying, technology is a lot better nowadays and there are advanced instruments to measure HR distances.

Back in the day did they take out a really long tape measure and start at home plate and go all the way out to where the ball landed?

All I am saying is that it seems there was more potential for mis-measurement and exaggeration back in the day. Maybe I am off base in thinking that.

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:02 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



PSUinNYC312 wrote:
Weren't the fences further back so there was less of a chance of balls striking seats, stopping the flight of the ball and creating the headache of projecting the actual distance?

I feel like nowadays, the parks are so small that things always get in the way of the true path of the HR and it is harder to find out exactly how far it would have flown.



Wouldn't you say that a ball that would travel 450 feet would probably clear that area?  Most balls that hit the seats are probably on their way down.
Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:06 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



grandforks wrote:
PSUinNYC312 wrote:
Weren't the fences further back so there was less of a chance of balls striking seats, stopping the flight of the ball and creating the headache of projecting the actual distance?

I feel like nowadays, the parks are so small that things always get in the way of the true path of the HR and it is harder to find out exactly how far it would have flown.



Wouldn't you say that a ball that would travel 450 feet would probably clear that area?  Most balls that hit the seats are probably on their way down.


I guess. I just don't get how balls could have been hit SO much further back in the day. It makes no sense to me with how obsessed our current culture of atheletes is in regards to bulking up.

Was it only guys like Ruth and Mantle or was it everyone?

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:14 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



PSUinNYC312 wrote:
grandforks wrote:
PSUinNYC312 wrote:

How do we know their measurement devices were as accurate then?


Ross -- They actually had rulers and tape measures back then.  There are even rumors that people actually knew how to read and write back then.  However, those rumors have never been proven, so I wouldn't put a lot of faith in them.
HAHAHA. I'm just saying, technology is a lot better nowadays and there are advanced instruments to measure HR distances.

Back in the day did they take out a really long tape measure and start at home plate and go all the way out to where the ball landed?

All I am saying is that it seems there was more potential for mis-measurement and exaggeration back in the day. Maybe I am off base in thinking that.


 In returning the discussion to Babe Ruth, it can be said that he defies rational analysis. Not only did he set distance records in every major league ballpark (including National League stadiums where he played only infrequently), he also set similar standards in hundreds of other fields, where he made exhibition and barnstorming appearances. Amazingly, many of those records remain unequaled, which is to say that Ruth is a true athletic anachronism. In virtually every other field of endeavor in which physical performance can be measured, there are no Ruthian equivalents. In 1921 alone, which was Ruth's best tape measure season, he hit at least one 500 foot home run in all eight American League cities. There should be no doubt about the authentication of these conclusions. Despite the scarcity of film on Ruth, we can still make definitive evaluations of the approximate landing points of all of his 714 career home runs.

Ruth played during the height of American's newspaper culture, when approximately 10 New York papers gave first hand accounts of each Yankee game. When you consider that the other baseball towns average about five comparable publications, it is clear that we can draw upon approximately 15 descriptions of most of the hundreds of four-base blows struck during his career. A suitable example can be identified in Ruth's classic Comiskey Park rooftopper on August 16, 1927. Fifteen writers from New York, Chicago, and other places emphatically stated that Ruth's fifth-inning drive cleared the 52-foot-wide grandstand roof by a considerable margin.

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

Bill Jenkinson recently wrote a book detailing the flight of every Ruth homerun during the 1921 season.  Based on the flight of all of the balls that he hit that season, Jenkinson determines that Ruth would have hit 104 homeruns that season in today's ballparks.  But Ruth would have been walked more (he walked 145 times that year) in smaller parks, so he probably wouldn't have been allowed to reach that figure..

Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:15 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 


PSU - they couldn't measure up to a nano-meter perhaps but we are talking "feet" here.

Modern Scientific age had begun and industrial revolution had already happenned. Keppler could measure the the planetary motion in 1600s so I am sure they could measure how far Babe hit some of those balls.

Second, this is the thread where you let the wise experienced ones share their wisdom and knowledge and first hand experience and sit back quietly and learn. You won't get that info no-where else....

Cheers!



Championships are a tad over-rated. All Time HR Record is where the truth at!!! Go A-Rod!!!.

Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:19 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



grandforks wrote:
PSUinNYC312 wrote:
grandforks wrote:
PSUinNYC312 wrote:

How do we know their measurement devices were as accurate then?


Ross -- They actually had rulers and tape measures back then.  There are even rumors that people actually knew how to read and write back then.  However, those rumors have never been proven, so I wouldn't put a lot of faith in them.
HAHAHA. I'm just saying, technology is a lot better nowadays and there are advanced instruments to measure HR distances.

Back in the day did they take out a really long tape measure and start at home plate and go all the way out to where the ball landed?

All I am saying is that it seems there was more potential for mis-measurement and exaggeration back in the day. Maybe I am off base in thinking that.


 In returning the discussion to Babe Ruth, it can be said that he defies rational analysis. Not only did he set distance records in every major league ballpark (including National League stadiums where he played only infrequently), he also set similar standards in hundreds of other fields, where he made exhibition and barnstorming appearances. Amazingly, many of those records remain unequaled, which is to say that Ruth is a true athletic anachronism. In virtually every other field of endeavor in which physical performance can be measured, there are no Ruthian equivalents. In 1921 alone, which was Ruth's best tape measure season, he hit at least one 500 foot home run in all eight American League cities. There should be no doubt about the authentication of these conclusions. Despite the scarcity of film on Ruth, we can still make definitive evaluations of the approximate landing points of all of his 714 career home runs.

Ruth played during the height of American's newspaper culture, when approximately 10 New York papers gave first hand accounts of each Yankee game. When you consider that the other baseball towns average about five comparable publications, it is clear that we can draw upon approximately 15 descriptions of most of the hundreds of four-base blows struck during his career. A suitable example can be identified in Ruth's classic Comiskey Park rooftopper on August 16, 1927. Fifteen writers from New York, Chicago, and other places emphatically stated that Ruth's fifth-inning drive cleared the 52-foot-wide grandstand roof by a considerable margin.

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

Bill Jenkinson recently wrote a book detailing the flight of every Ruth homerun during the 1921 season.  Based on the flight of all of the balls that he hit that season, Jenkinson determines that Ruth would have hit 104 homeruns that season in today's ballparks.  But Ruth would have been walked more (he walked 145 times that year) in smaller parks, so he probably wouldn't have been allowed to reach that figure..


Can't debate that!

 

Thanks for the interesting read!

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:24 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



PSUinNYC312 wrote:

Was it only guys like Ruth and Mantle or was it everyone?



It was definitely a short list.  You have to remember that Ruth's career started 54 years before Mantle's career ended, so it's not like they were playing during the same time.

There have been approximately 13 generations of baseball players.  That's using an average career length of a starter.  The trap that a lot of people fall into is lumping all of the players from the past into one group, and lumpoing all of the current players into another group.  But there should actually be about a dozen groups (in a timeline).  So the term "back then" could actually describe many different eras.

There are probably just as many power hitters in this era as there were in any of the previous eras.  But are there any as powerful as The Babe, The Mick, or The Beast?  Probably not.  But the same could be said for just about every other era.
Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:39 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



PSUinNYC312 wrote:


How do we know their measurement devices were as accurate then?


yeah, how could they go to the moon in '69, using a tape measure, and a yard stick  !!!The image “http://img116.exs.cx/img116/8935/s6vhaha.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

"If you were sitting out past the 457 marker in left center field in the last row, in the bleachers and he started to walk to the plate,you knew who he was, you didn't need mel allen to tell you !!!"  

Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 12:46 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 


 
 Home run measurement is a bit of a farce. I think I've posted this article here before:

 http://www.slate.com/id/2095/

 We have often wondered if McGwire got ahold of a Randy Johnson fastball how far he could hit it, and I think we just saw it." Shortly after, Niehaus gave the estimated distance: "538 feet--unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable. The longest home run ever hit here in Seattle ...

But there's a catch: The 538-feet figure, announced by the Mariners about 40 seconds after the ball landed, was an overstatement worthy of P.T. Barnum. 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.

Curious that anyone could hit a ball 538 feet in an indoor park near sea level, I called the Mariners to see how they devised such a spectacular number. The team repeatedly refused to explain how they arrived at the figure or to allow me to speak to whoever made the estimate. Mariners PR Director Dave Aust stresses that the figure is "a guesstimate." "We don't really believe in the process," Aust says, distancing the team from the McGwire number.

Posted: 7/5/2007 1:03 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



grandforks wrote:
rmyawn wrote:

2)  Ichiro, the fastest player among a world-wide pool of talent, would rank behind half a dozen white guys if he were to have played in 1952.  Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines, Vince Coleman et al would fall behind the likes of Gil McDougald, Johnny Groth, and Gene Woodling.

Btw, Gforks, if I have some how misrepresented your argument or biased the preface, please add in your thoughts in succeeding posts.  Thanks!  I will refrain from voting.



I don't have a lot of time this morning, so I will have to be brief.  Here are my points of contention:

1) Ichiro is NOT the fastest player today.  Joey Gathright's 3.3 leaves Ichiro's 3.7 in the dust.

2)  Do we have the times for Raines or Coleman?  If not, how do you know they were clocked slower than those darn white guys?
 
3)  I suppose that it would be easier to stomache if Mantle wasn't white (or at least that's the vibe that I'm getting).  But there wasn't a doubt about who the fastest player was when Mantle played.  And it wasn't Jackie Robinson or Willie Mays.
I forgot about ol' car-jumping Gathright.  Actually, since he was only called up on June 6th, I didn't bother to include him.  My point about Ichiro was just that, over the past couple of years, looking at regular players (which is what it appears the Sporting News did in 1952), Ichiro has been consistently the fastest.


I'm not sure what you are implying when you say "I suppose that it would be easier to stomach if Mantle wasn't white..."  I brought up race simply because the talent pool was so restricted in 1952.  Maybe those guys from the 50s really were faster than all the talent Major League Baseball has assembled from all over the world today.  And it's not just baseball, because Mickey Mantle's time from 1952, if it's true, would be faster than the fastest documented time ever recorded in any sport--faster than Maurice Greene and Ben Johnson.

Ben Johnson, in his world-record setting 100 meter dash, covered the first forty yards in about 4.38 seconds (4.24 if the reaction time is excluded), a ridiculously slower pace than a 3.1 second thirty yard dash.  And, of course, a batter not only has to "react", but also has to finish swinging a bat, change his momentum, and run on dirt or grass to first base.  Extrapolating a bit, if Mantle could have used running shoes, a firm start, steroids (like Johnson), a cinder track, and not have to finish his swing, he would have been able to run a 40 in 3.9 seconds or so.

Every track record in the world has been improved consistently and steadily over the past 100 years.  In fact, since 1912, the record in the 100 meter dash has improved by almost a full second! (10.6 to 9.77).  Every other track record has improved in a similar manner. But apparently, the track and field stars of today, while having bested all the track stars of the 1950s, haven't yet surpassed the baseball stars of the 1950s.  Perhaps baseball is just an outlier, and its players just keep getting slower, even with the influx of world-wide talent, better training techniques, better diets, and better equipment.

Or perhaps, the hand-timing devices that were used in the 1950s exaggerated the speed of these players.  I know that in track events today, no one takes seriously the hand-timed device.  They tend to increase the speed substantially, as the timer will hit the button in anticipation of the runner crossing the threshold.

Mick must have been among the fastest players in his day.  He was at one time known as the Commerce Comet!  And I have no doubt that his career would have benefited from today's environment.  He would have had better training, better equipment, and, probably, someone looking out for his interests more.  And steals are more looked at now compared to the 1950s.  He could have had a number of 40 40 years, and maybe even a 50 50 year. 

But I think someone really has to defy all the things we know about historical trends in athletic speed events and all we know about hand-timed devices to  maintain that Mickey Mantle was not only the fastest baseball player in the 1950s, but also the fastest runner of the 20th century.

Last edited 7/5/2007 1:43 PM by rmyawn

Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 1:05 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



mrG777 wrote:
PSUinNYC312 wrote:


How do we know their measurement devices were as accurate then?


yeah, how could they go to the moon in '69, using a tape measure, and a yard stick  !!!The image “http://img116.exs.cx/img116/8935/s6vhaha.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


LOL! I got a laught out of that one... You've still got it, G!!!

A lot of conspiracy theorists will tell you that we never landed on the moon....

Avatar

Posted: 7/5/2007 1:21 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 


Somewhere there's a post (recently) about two tape measure HR's hit against USC at USC - by a switch hitter from both sides of the plate (of course it's Mantle) both were measured over 600' by those who knew how to measure and what they saw.  The Mick was incredible!  He was fast - many's the announcer who would ask why doesn't he bunt more - if he did he'd hit .400 easy. 

As to race being a criteria - it shouldn't be - some people are just fast - some are even faster when in a race or need to get someplace in a hurry.  In the 60's we could measure HS athletes from home plate to 1B - this was always done prior to selection - some had different times (meaning they didn't hustle all out each time), etc.

What some forget is that Mantle got injuried when playing RF after first coming up - he didn't last long at SS.  Some remember the sprinkler system which tripped him up. 

Some of us who have been around the baseball parks most of our lives in one way or another - never heard anyone say they saw anyone faster than Mickey Mantle, ever.

Somewhere I've a rookie Hank Aaron card - it'll never match the value of one of Mickey's - never. 

"Gathering momentum our lives define themselves by whether we act or react to the obstacles along our path."   cji 1/27/07

Posted: 7/5/2007 1:23 PM

Re: Mickey Mantle: Fastest Ballplayer ever? 



sebboH wrote:


 Home run measurement is a bit of a farce. I think I've posted this article here before:

 http://www.slate.com/id/2095/

 We have often wondered if McGwire got ahold of a Randy Johnson fastball how far he could hit it, and I think we just saw it." Shortly after, Niehaus gave the estimated distance: "538 feet--unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable. The longest home run ever hit here in Seattle ...

But there's a catch: The 538-feet figure, announced by the Mariners about 40 seconds after the ball landed, was an overstatement worthy of P.T. Barnum. 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.

Curious that anyone could hit a ball 538 feet in an indoor park near sea level, I called the Mariners to see how they devised such a spectacular number. The team repeatedly refused to explain how they arrived at the figure or to allow me to speak to whoever made the estimate. Mariners PR Director Dave Aust stresses that the figure is "a guesstimate." "We don't really believe in the process," Aust says, distancing the team from the McGwire number.

Good post sebboh.  I wasn't going to go there, because, well, I already had the speed argument to deal with.  But since you brought it up, you are right about the physicists.  And it is also correct that the 450 feet shot is a "normal" situation.  If the shot is hit off of a hard-throwing pitcher, it can increase the distance by about 10 feet.  If the ball is pulled, then the distance can increase by about 15 feet.  Extreme temperatures, such as a 100 degree day, can also increase the distance of the batted ball by about twenty feet (10 feet because the air is thinner and 10 feet because the ball is livelier).   A ten mile an hour wind can add as much as 40 feet to the distance the ball goes.  That puts you up to 535 feet--if the temperature is just right, the wind just right, a power pitcher  is throwing, the ball is pulled, and hit with an upward angle of 35-40 degrees with about 2000 rpm of backspin.

Mantle hit a ball out of Griffith stadium in 1953, and contemporary observers measured it at 565 feet.  Today, we know it likely would have traveled 511-520 feet.  One reason for the inconsistency is simple: most people assume that a ball falls at the same angle that it elevates, and this isn't true.  If a ball is hit at a 40 degree upward angle off of the bat, then it will likely fall at about a 45 degree angle.  Thus it falls more quickly than it appears it should.  But a 500+ feet home run is a huge accomplishment.  But I wouldn't take a news reporter or home town ball park's word on the distance traveled.
Post New Topic
  Page of 10  Next >