by Michael Otero May 11, 2017

Chicks dig the long ball, right? Or at least that’s what people say. But does distance matter?

As of May 2, there have been 936 home runs this Major League Baseball season according to ESPN’s home run tracker. Of those 936 long balls, the longest came off the bat of Jake Lamb of the Diamondbacks and was calculated at 468 feet while the shortest dinger came from Corey Dickerson of the Rays and traveled just 326 feet. While the blast from Lamb is a home run in each stadium in baseball, Dickerson’s shot is more often than not an out, but in this instance he got it over the fence.

All home runs look identical in the box score so Dickerson and Lamb earn the same result in adding another tally to their home run totals, but the manner in which the two were hit differs tremendously.

Comparing the two long balls, both Lamb and Dickerson were playing in their home ballparks and both were batting left handed. Additionally, both made contact on a non-fastball. (Lamb home run pitch calculation 86 M.P.H. and Dickerson home run pitch calculation 79 M.P.H.) Perhaps the biggest difference is that Lamb pulled his shot into right center field while Dickerson was late on his home run and skied it the other way; hugging the left field foul pole.

While it shouldn’t be overlooked that both hits were indeed home runs that helped their respective clubs try and earn wins, the sheer distance of home runs like Lamb’s is something that gains the attention of baseball fanatics for sure but also helps reel in casual fans who might only watch baseball to see a home run of such distance.

If you’re just looking to see long balls and that’s it, Yankee Stadium is the place that yields the most home runs. Year to date, pitchers have surrendered 50 round trippers in just 14 games which equates to over 3.5 home runs per game. Three of the top 15 longest home runs have been hit at Yankee Stadium and Aaron Judge, Yankees outfielder the current American League leader in home runs, has two of the 15 longest blasts of the season.

A home run is a home run, but the distance it travels serves as a barometer for the fans to help the sport become more popular and continue to grow. Few people will talk about a 326 foot home run at the water cooler. Conversely, a 468 foot home run can be a smash hit at the water cooler.
Michael Otero
Michael Otero

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