Baseball has always been a sport that has been played with elements of speed and power. Whether its been the 50 plus base stealer, or the 30/30 and even rarer 40/40 men of the past who could combine both speed and power to become dangerous offensive weapons. Or the pitcher who throws a blazing 95 and above mile per hour heater, that can still mix a nasty curve or breaking pitch to completely fool you. Baseball has always had its stars who brought both elements to the game at a high rate, and this has been a major part of its lure since its very early and earnest beginnings in the late 19th century.
However, as the game has grown and evolved so to has the players, the styles and the love of the game. Yes, baseball has also had its lesser moments. The ‘steroid era’ has made us question alot of the purity of the game, as well as the credit that we should be giving the athletes who compete in such. It has brought many questions to light about cheating in sports and the idea of how far is too far, and how much is just simply being competitive.
But it also brought us something that even some of baseball’s most pure of fans cannot look back upon and not smirk occasionally, lots of fantastic home runs. So with that in mind here are to date, in game, the longest home runs ever hit in MLB history. It seems only fitting to quote Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, two very smart and well-respected cy young award winning pitchers throughout the steroid era, when they put it best, “chicks dig the longball”.
Hill was playing for the Cubs when he smashed a monstrous home run at Wrigley to left field on May 11th, 2000 against the Milwaukee Brewers. It went so far as to land in the seating across Waveland Avenue on the rooftops of the homes beyond the left field fence. One of the longest home runs in Wrigley Field history coming from a guy who had 11 that season at the tender age of 35. Also a player who through his career was an average hitting outfielder with sub-par defense. Talk about making every swing count.
In a home game for the Bosox at Fenway Park on June 23rd, 2001 Manram got around on an offering from Blue Jay left-hander Chris Michalak and made sure he didn’t miss a single piece of it. He crushed it off of the light fixture high above the green monster in left field and atop of the Coca-Cola bottles that sit just below the lights. It was his second of the day off the left-hander above 460 Feet, and another of his 41 homers in his first year a part of Red Sox nation. As shown Manny’s 12 total years of 30+ home runs and 9 consecutive from 1998 through 2006 were no fluke. Even if he had a little help from a special juice, it was fun to watch.
While on the road with the Tigers in a game against the Brew Crew on September 14th, 1991 Fielder crushed a ball literally above and beyond the stadium. His sweet smash off of Brewers lefty Dan Plesac made its way out onto the concourse behind the left-field stands at the old County Stadium in Milwaukee. It was just another moment of power displayed by the brooding first baseman with his 41st of 44 home runs that season for Detroit in what would be the early part of a short, but successful career.
This blast from another massive first baseman was as sweet as his name. In a game for the D-backs on April 26th of 2004, Sexson delivered a bomb to straight away center field that could barely be followed by the cameraman to catch its descent from above. On its way down from the heavens it slammed off of the scoreboard located on the second level at Chase Field. This blast from Sexson reminds us all why he’s not just one of the best names in sports, but was also a 30+ home run man 6 times as well as a 6 time 100+ RBI producer to boot.
In another Chase Field special we have Adam Dunn seeking to hit 100 RBI’s on the final days of a 2008 regular season split between Cincy and Arizona. He came in one shy on September 27th and then took lefty Glendon Rusch for a ride, and I mean ride to centerfield. His eighth in D-back colours and 40th of the season was a solo shot that gave him the century mark on a blast to the deepest part of the park beating Sexson’s blast from 4 years earlier by a single foot for longest homer at the stadium.
10. Mo Vaughn – New York Mets – 505 Feet – at Shea Stadium*
Mo Vaughn was a solid middle of the order man throughout his career, and even topped 40 homers a pair of times while with Boston. While his career was on the decline with the Mets in his second last season in 2002, Mo still provided the faithful with a blast from the past at Shea in their June 26th matchup with Atlanta. His moonshot three quarters up the old Budweiser sign in right center-field was an estimated 505 feet, and one of his 26 on the season upon his return from missing the entire previous year due to injury. It would be the last big blast we would see from Mo, but boy was she a rocket.
When he came to hit this blast he was already in his 4th full season and 9th overall for the Indians, so it was no shock. On July 3rd, 1999 Thome destroyed Kansas City Royals righty Don Wengert’s offering to the deepest part of center, and then some. The ball left the building, literally ending up on Eagle Avenue beyond the center field backdrop and bouncing through the streets. This was just one of Thome’s 612 career bombs, most of which were hit in his time in Cleveland, but none as far as this absolute thwacking.
A man who will show up again on our list, not only did he break Roger Maris’ home run record, but McGwire for the time he was smacking the cover off of baseball’s, was really smacking them. One of his biggest and farthest home runs came in an early season trip to Jacob’s field on April 30th of 1997. McGwire drilled an Oral Hershiser pitch over the 19 foot fence and 23 rows of seating in left center field in Cleveland for one of the longest home runs to date. Surprisingly though, it would take exactly a month for another player that year to surpass his homer for longest homer on the season. Talk about short lived glory.
7. Darryl Strawberry – New York Mets – 525 Feet – at Olympic Stadium*
On April 4th, 1988 Darryl Strawberry opened the season for the Mets with this blast that on its way out to right field hit the top of the Olympic Stadium roof. The blast has been measured as a 525 foot home run from Strawberry which also was his first of the year coming in the season opener. It was such a literal moonshot into the roof that when it came down back to the field of play it returned like a bullet towards the turf creating all sorts of confusion as to whether it was still in play. Strawberry would of course be awarded the home run as he should, and his first would be the longest of his 39 homers on the season. This though was one of the last years we got to see a healthy Strawberry on top of his game, but at least he went out with a bang.
Coming on the heels of McGwire’s blast just a bit back up the list a month prior, this one on May 31st of 1997 had all the makings of a tape-measure shot. Galarraga slugged one of his 41 on the campaign deep to left field into the unmanned upper deck at the then named Pro Player Stadium. Not only did he hit himself a mammoth home run, it also was a grand slam to boot. Galarraga only really had two extreme power years with over 40 home runs in 1996 and the 97 season, so at least he managed to squeak a blast for the ages in there.
5. Dave Kingman – Chicago Cubs – 530 Feet – at Wrigley Field
This right handed power hitter was nicknamed “Kong” for his 6”6 stature, and he was a powerful hitter known for his multitude of strikeouts and his long home runs, his finest of which measured at 530 feet. It came against the Phillies at Wrigley Field while Kingsman was with the Cubs back in 1979. It happened in the midst of a 23-22 loss to the Phils on May 17th in a game in which he hit a pair of home runs, as did his counterpart Mike Schmidt for the Phillies. Kingman’s second was a monstrous blast that found its way three houses deep on Waveland Avenue before taking off down the street.
During the 1971 All-Star Game from Detroit’s Tiger Stadium “Mr. October” delivered a massive game changing three-run homer to right field that cleared the entirety of the stadium’s impressively high standing bleachers. The blast still stands over 40 years later as the longest homerun in MLB All-Star game history. Jackson went on to make a name for himself as a postseason darling and one of the most clutch players of all-time, and this blast did nothing but help him earn worldwide recognition all the more sooner.
3. Adam Dunn – Cincinnati Reds – 535 Feet – Great American Ballpark
This blast was exactly that. It is the second on the list from Dunn and makes his first look like a chip shot, but this time he may have used the driver. On August 10th of the 2004 season Dunn connected on his 35th homer of 46 on the year and in doing so put himself in the all-time top 3 for farthest moonshots of all-time. He also became the only man, and still stands as so, to hit a ball clear out of the Great American in Cincinnati. He did so, even more astoundingly, to the deepest part of the park in straightaway centerfield, right above the batter’s eye. Therefore proving why he is donning our list twice.
Like Dunn, McGwire hits our list for a second time closer to the top with a blast again from his days back in Oakland, albeit right near the tail end of his time there. This one comes off of lefty and hall of famer Randy Johnson. It happened on June 24th, 1996 when Big Mac took the Big Unit way back to the far wall of the Kingdome in the upper level. No one ever did and ever will (Kingdome is gone) repeat the feat, not that many seemingly have the ability to make such connections on balls as McGwire did when in his prime. This was just one of his 52 blasts on the campaign, a career high at that point for Mark, and he provides us with our second farthest home run on the list.
1. Jose Canseco – Oakland A’s – 540 Feet – at Skydome***
The original booming Athletic bat was that of Jose Canseco. He started his career with the A’s and definitely made himself a known commodity with a pair of 40 home run seasons while in his first tenure in Oakland. During the 1989 ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays, Canseco followed a forgettable shortened season that saw him miss almost 100 games to injury with a memorable post-season swat. Canseco hit what is still to this day the longest post-season home run of all-time. His massive, 5th deck shot at the formerly named Skydome registers in at 540 feet, earning him sole possession of first place on our list of longest dingers in MLB history.
*= Stadium no longer in use
** = Jacob’s Field has since been renamed Progressive Field
***= Skydome has since been renamed Rogers Center