Get out the tape measures for the 10 longest home runs of the first half
Years from now, home run historians will remember all dingers prior to the 2016 All-Star break as BG -- before Giancarlo. As in: "Before Giancarlo used the T-Mobile Home Run Derby to redefine what human beings can do with a baseball bat."
But the other guys deserve to be honored, too -- not every home run can end up on top of the batter's eye, after all. So, let's take the time on National Tape Measure Day to get out some tape measures of our own and look back at the very best dingers of the first half:
10. Cameron Rupp, July 10 - 465 feet
Cameron Rupp is a very large man, standing 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, with a beard that just screams "dingers." And so far, 2016 looks like a career year for the Phillies catcher -- he's already tied a career high with nine homers in the first half. Put those things together -- and add in the special dinger magic of Coors Field -- and you get this moonshot from July 10's Phillies-Rockies game:
Somehow, Rupp's blast wasn't even the longest dinger of the game. But we'll get to that.
9. Eugenio Suarez, June 2 - 465 feet
Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez is not a particularly big man. But back on June 2 against the Rockies, he struck a blow for middle infielders everywhere -- a long, long blow:
8. Matt Holliday, May 30 - 466 feet
Sure, at 36, Matt Holliday's best dinger days are probably behind him. But make no mistake: As he proved back in May against Milwaukee's Jhan Marinez, he's still got a few gargantuan blasts left in the tank.
7. Jordy Mercer, April 22 - 466 feet
Jordy Mercer might not be the first player who comes to mind when thinking of MLB's premier sluggers -- he's hit 30 homers over his five-year career, and never more than 12 in a full season. In an April game against the D-backs, though, the Pirates infielder showed just what he thinks of your preconceived notions/Patrick Corbin's fastball:
6. C.J. Cron, June 21 - 467 feet
You might not have noticed, what with the All-Star break and everything, but C.J. Cron was raking at the end of the first half until fracturing his left hand -- like "a 1.071 OPS and six homers over four weeks" levels of raking, including this blast against the Astros back in June:
5. Hanley Ramirez, May 10 - 468 feet
Hanley Ramirez is many things: best friend to batting helmets, hidden ball trick connoisseur, shirtless aerobics instructor. But above all, his passion is waging war on the Green Monster -- just look at this assault, launched against A's rookie Sean Manaea back in May:
4. Maikel Franco, July 10 - 471 feet
Remember when we mentioned that Rupp's 465-foot homer at Coors last week wasn't even the longest of the game? Maikel Franco managed to one-up his own teammate:
3. Franklin Gutierrez, May 21 - 473 feet
Franklin Gutierrez is probably better known for his incredible highlights out in center field. But in a May game against the Reds, he proved that he can do some damage with the bat.
2. Giancarlo Stanton, May 6 - 475 feet
Don't worry, no list of home runs would be complete without the Dinger God himself -- the man who hit three of the 10 longest homers of 2015. Of the seemingly countless tape-measure shots Stanton has launched in 2016, the longest of the bunch came against the Phillies back in May. Which structure would he threaten to destroy this time? How about his park's own home run sculpture:
1. Nomar Mazara, May 25 - 491 feet
It would take a dinger of historical proportions to unseat Stanton from the No. 1 spot. A dinger so majestic, you still can't quite believe it. A tater so thoroughly mashed, the ballpark could barely contain it. Enter Nomar Mazara:
He's a rookie, by the way.