Into rivers, across state lines -- these are the 8 coolest places in baseball to hit home runs
Prized free agent Manny Machado hit his first home run as a San Diego Padre the other night. First home runs are cool, but what made it even cooler was that it slammed off a building just beyond the left-field fence. Petco Park's Western Metal Supply Company building, to be exact.
Unlike other sports, most baseball stadiums open up to the rest of the world, and a bunch of them have built very un-baseball things just over the other side of the wall. That means well-struck balls can be hit into bodies of water or, better yet, wild Miami dance floors. Here are eight of our favorite spots around Major League Baseball where home runs can land.
Into a river
The Pittsburgh Pirates' PNC Park is one of the best places to watch baseball in the country. And, as an added bonus, if a player can hit a home run high enough and far enough (more than 440 feet) to right field, there's the off-chance it could tumble into the Allegheny River. Only a select few have splashed down since the park's inception in 2001, with the Astros' Daryle Ward doing it first back in '02.
Off a hotel room
Sure, it's fun watching baseballs fly into the fifth deck at the Toronto Blue Jays' home stadium, but there's also a hotel inside Rogers Centre. Seriously. Its windows face center field. And last season, Avisail Garcia's 481-foot dinger introduced itself to some lucky guests.
Into an aquarium
This one not only takes distance, but precision. The Tampa Bay Rays have a small, 35-foot touch tank full of, you guessed it, rays, just beyond the right-center field wall. Luis Gonzalez was the first to give his dinger a swim in 2007.
Off a warehouse
This has still not been done during a regular-season game, but the all-powerful Ken Griffey Jr. did blast one, on the fly, off Camden Yards' B&O Warehouse in the 1993 Home Run Derby. It was a 465-foot poke that had Griffey flashing that beautiful Griffey smile.
Into a cove
This is one of the more popular home run depositories in all of baseball. Just over the right-field wall at the San Francisco Giants' Oracle Park lies McCovey Cove -- named after former Giant great Willie McCovey.
In total, there have been 78 balls hit into the cove and this guy, Bobby Bonds' son, has 35 of them.
Off a train
It's an ornamental train, but still, it's fun watching a ball sail onto the Minute Maid Park tracks high above the left-field wall. The locomotive sits 90 feet above the field and more than 400 feet away from home plate. Here's Mark Trumbo pinging one off it a few years back.
Onto a dance floor
Of course there's a club at Marlins Park. The Clevelander is located on the other side of the left-field wall, and the first home run in the Miami stadium's history went dancing.
Into another state
Only a man with the might of Adam Dunn could pull off such a feat. The Big Donkey crushed one clear out of Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park in 2004, it then bounced off a road behind the stadium and bounded 200 feet onto a piece of driftwood along the Ohio River. That section of the river is technically Kentucky. Here's the dinger below. Watch it a few times because it'll likely never happen again.
Matt Monagan writes at night for Cut4. In his spare time, he travels and searches Twitter for Wily Mo Pena news.