64 years ago, a 19-year-old Mickey Mantle hit a baseball somewhere between 550-660 feet
64 years ago, Mantle hit a 550-660 foot HR
We've seen some incredible rookies impress over the last few years. From Jose Fernandez to Bryce Harper to Mike "The Fish God" Trout:
But 64 years ago today, a 19-year-old Mickey Mantle may have topped them all during a Spring Training game against USC. The Yankees rookie, who was auditioning for the chance to take over the center-field job from an aging Joe DiMaggio, went 4-for-5 with a single, triple, two home runs and seven RBIs. And his second homer, from the left side of the plate, went, um, very, very far.
Witnesses say it carried over the college stadium's right-center-field fence (344 feet) and into a huddle on the adjoining football field. Future pro football player and sportscaster Frank Gifford was a Trojans tailback at the time and admitted that "no one had ever done that before."
Very rough estimates tallied the distance at 656 feet, but new interviews from a few years back put the shot somewhere between 550-600. Which still ... good lord.