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You decide: Camden Yards’ greatest dinger

Still only one warehouse homer
(Tom Forget / MLB.com)
@michaelsclair
May 6, 2020

Camden Yards is one of the most picturesque ballparks in America, so much so that its construction in 1992 -- nuzzled comfortably within the confines of downtown Baltimore -- went on to influence almost every baseball stadium that came after. Obviously such a majestic park makes for some majestic homers,

Camden Yards is one of the most picturesque ballparks in America, so much so that its construction in 1992 -- nuzzled comfortably within the confines of downtown Baltimore -- went on to influence almost every baseball stadium that came after.

Obviously such a majestic park makes for some majestic homers, so now that we've crowned Wrigley Field's greatest dinger, it's time to do the same for Camden Yards.

We're not necessarily talking about the longest -- though that helps. Nor are we talking about the most important (many of the home runs that swung games and pennant races were simple wall scrapers).

We're looking for the grandest -- the one that forever links our memories with the place, like a video calling card.

That's where you come in. Today, we'll outline the dingers that we think deserve consideration, and you tell us which one is the best that Camden Yards has ever seen.

Carlos Correa's 475-foot homer

We said that we weren't going to be judging these based solely on distance, but how do you not include the longest home run in the stadium's history? On Aug. 10, 2019, Correa took Aaron Brooks' letter-high offering and smashed it over both bullpens -- some 475 feet away. When it finally landed, even the announcers seemed shocked by its distance.

Correa's Astros teammates were shocked, too.

“I don't think I can hit a ball there unless I hit from second base,” said José Altuve.

Darryl Strawberry goes off the batter's eye

Whose Camden Yards record did Correa break? None other than Strawberry. On June 17, 1998, the lefty stepped to the plate and delivered this massive blast. But, if we're talking about pure majesty, then this one suffers because of Camden Yards' batter's eye. Had Strawberry hit it a few more feet to the left, we'd probably be waiting for this thing to come down.

Instead, Strawberry's moonshot landed with a thud against a green wall.

Cal Ripken Jr.'s record-breaking night

We'll be honest: Ripken's home runs were rarely gasp-worthy. (He saved that sort of thing for when he was on defense.) But on Sept. 6, 1995, when Ripken broke Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak and the president himself was on the microphone, he hit a home run that felt longer than it really was.

Sure, the ball doesn't carry far into the seats, but this is an example of a man just knowing when it's most important to muscle up. He did the same thing in the 2001 All-Star Game.

Ken Griffey Jr.'s warehouse smash

While you could dock this one because it happened during the Home Run Derby and not during actual play -- and you are free to do so -- just know I'm judging you. I'm judging you because this home run is perfect. It's Junior at his peak: smashing dingers with that glorious, smooth-as-silk left-handed swing and the nonchalance of a backwards hat.

Plus, he did something no one has ever replicated: He smashed a baseball off the warehouse beyond the stadium.

As Griffey said at the time: "It just means it will be written about for a while," he said. "When somebody does it in a game, my stuff will be blown out of the water."

Well, that hasn't happened yet. We're still freaking out about it.

Manny Machado's second-deck homer

In his 6 1/2 years with the team, Machado produced some of the most beautiful-looking homers ever hit by an Orioles player. But his best is probably this 465-foot shot into the second deck against the Red Sox.

The broadcaster sums it up best: "Oh my goodness."

Chris Hoiles' ultimate grand slam

If you're not an Orioles fan, or a fantasy baseball player in the mid 90s, this might not be a name you expected to see on this list.

But among Baltimore diehards, this may be the most celebrated Camden Yards homer. On May 17, 1996, Hoiles came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded and the Orioles trailing the Mariners by three.

With two outs and the count at 3-2, it was all down to one pitch. Norm Charlton threw it and Hoiles lifted it out.

"The next thing we knew, the unbelievable happened," Hoiles said after the game. It remains a crucial moment in Orioles history, with Hoiles being one of only 27 players in Major League history to ever hit the ultimate grand slam.

So, now we turn it over to you. Which is the greatest home run in Camden Yards' history? Do you go for distance and pick Correa? Spectacle and choose Junior? Or history and pick Hoiles or Ripken?

Look into your heart and answer:

Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.