DENVER -- The bobblehead commemorating Rockies shortstop Trevor Story's 505-foot home run on Sept. 5, 2018, sat unopened in a utility closet until a few minutes before this reporter started writing his list of longest Statcast-measured home runs hit at Coors Field.
“LONGEST HOME RUN EVER MEASURED by Statcast since its establishment in 2015,” the box reads. But the first indication that something was awry was the extreme difficulty in putting the bat in the porcelain Trevor’s left hand as he finished his follow-through on the homer.
Called up the Statcast ranking and … what?
The projection of Story’s long ball no longer tops the list. It’s tied for third, after being recalculated at 487 feet.
It is the longest for a Rockies player, but jeez. A young franchise with only intermittent success just can’t catch a break, not even from modern technology/data science.
Statcast has nothing against the Rockies. Numbers get updated within the Statcast data system, so changes happen. But it’s not as if the Rockies acted hastily in issuing the figurine, either. It was handed out at Coors on June 30, 2019.
At any rate, Statcast can remove 18 feet from a special blast, but here’s what can’t be taken away from Story:
• The homer in question was one of three Story hit that night in a 5-3 victory over the Giants -- a crucial win for the Rockies late in a season in which they forced the Dodgers to a 163rd game to settle the National League West.
• Add to that a two-homer game from a 9-8 Rockies victory two nights earlier, and Story went deep five times in a three-game series. Charlie Blackmon is the only other Rockies player to accomplish the feat, against the Phillies on Aug. 12-14, 2016.
• Story would finish 2018 with a career-high 37 home runs. He also went deep in the All-Star Game.
Still, the distance recalculation is a real bummer -- even more so than not being able to fit the bat into the bobblehead’s hand.
But we soldier on with official numbers while reliving the longest homers at Coors Field since the advent of Statcast in 2015. (The complete list can be found here.)
1. 504 feet -- Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) off RHP Chad Bettis (Rockies) on Aug. 6, 2016
2. 493 feet -- Michael A. Taylor (Nationals) off LHP Yohan Flande (Rockies) on Aug. 20, 2015
3T. 487 feet -- Rangel Ravelo (Cardinals) off RHP Tim Melville (Rockies) on Sept. 19, 2019
3T. 487 feet -- Trevor Story (Rockies) off LHP Andrew Suarez (Giants) on Sept. 5, 2018
5. 486 feet -- Ian Desmond (Rockies) off LHP Mike Montgomery (Cubs) on June 10, 2019
6. 484 feet -- Mark Reynolds (Rockies) off LHP Hunter Cervenka (Braves) on July 21, 2016
7. 482 feet -- Mark Reynolds (Rockies) off LHP Jhan Marinez (Pirates) on July 23, 2017
8. 480 feet -- Alex Dickerson (Giants) off RHP Jon Gray (Rockies) on Sept. 1, 2020
9. 479 feet -- Ryan McMahon (Rockies) off RHP Yimi Garcia (Dodgers) on June 27, 2019
10. 478 feet -- Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) off RHP Eddie Butler (Rockies) on June 5, 2015
10T. 478 feet -- Jackie Bradley Jr. (Red Sox) off RHP Rico Garcia (Rockies) on Aug. 27, 2019
Of course, the list does not include a well-remembered, pre-Statcast long ball. Still, Hall of Famer Mike Piazza’s shot for the Dodgers off Darren Holmes on Sept. 26, 1997, traveled 496 feet, according to a postgame estimate by the Rockies.
When Stanton’s distance was announced, longtime Rockies observers disputed that it was anywhere near the distance of Piazza’s. Whatever the distance, it’s worth another gawk.