Acuña's Derby blast leaves Dodger Stadium

He joins 5 players who have hit a HR out of the legendary park in games

July 19th, 2022

At the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby, the question on everyone’s mind was whether some of the game’s top sluggers would rewrite Statcast distance records in the mile-high air of Coors Field.

In the 2022 Derby, taking place on Monday night at Dodger Stadium there is another eye-popping target in play for the talented field.

Dodger Stadium is the third-oldest active ballpark in MLB, having opened its doors in 1962. In those 60 years, only five players have launched a grand total of six home runs that have left the stadium entirely during game competition. And the list features some of the top power hitters in baseball history.

Now that select group has company. In the first round of the Derby, the Braves' Ronald Acuña Jr. pummeled his 15th of 19 long balls a soaring 472 feet to left-center field field, where it cleared the roof of the pavilion. It was Acuña's longest homer of the round, and while he ultimately fell short against two-time defending champion Pete Alonso, he certainly made his lasting mark on the event.

Here is a look back at the previous mashers who have accomplished this rare feat.

Sept. 30, 2021: Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres)
467 feet to LF (per Statcast)

Tatis’ father once made an even rarer form of home run history at Dodger Stadium, so perhaps it’s fitting that San Diego’s young superstar put himself on this particular list. While the Padres were closing the books on a disappointing 2021 regular season, the 22-year-old provided a jaw-dropping highlight by crushing a Tony Gonsolin pitch off the pavilion roof and out for his 42nd homer.

“Everybody was just kind of in shock,” then-Padres manager Jace Tingler said afterward, and that about sums it up.

May 12, 2015: Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins)
475 feet to LF (per Statcast)

If there were one active player who was likely to do this, it would probably be Stanton. And the Southern California native, who went to high school less than 15 miles from Dodger Stadium, was up to the task. Early in the first season of Statcast tracking, he got a meaty pitch from righty Mike Bolsinger and obliterated it out of the stadium. So mighty was the swat, Dodgers left fielder Scott Van Slyke didn’t even bother to move as the ball rocketed over his head at 114 mph.

“That was amazing,” said veteran pitcher Dan Haren, then a Marlin and formerly a Dodger. “If anyone is going to do it, it’s him.”

May 22, 1999: Mark McGwire (Cardinals)
483 feet to LCF (estimated)

Big Mac was basically a real-life Paul Bunyan at this point in time, having broken Roger Maris’ single-season home run record the year before and then carrying that into 1999. He launched two big flies in this particular game, with the second (off a visibly distraught Jamie Arnold) not only caroming off the pavilion roof and out but doing so pretty far over into the left-center-field gap.

“He’s done it again, and let’s see where that goes,” said legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully on the air, with obvious awe, as the ball soared toward its destiny. “Gee whiz.”

Sept. 21, 1997: Mike Piazza (Dodgers)
478 feet to LF (estimated)

This was near the end of Piazza’s finest season, when the Hall of Famer hit .362/.431/.638 with 40 homers, while also starting 138 games behind the plate. By the end of the following May, he will have been traded to the Marlins and then on to the Mets. But for now, Piazza was still in Dodger Blue, and when the Rockies’ Frank Castillo hung him a breaking ball, he absolutely did not miss it. Twenty-five years later, Piazza remains the only Dodger on this list.

May 8, 1973: Willie Stargell (Pirates)
470 feet to RF (estimated)

Aug. 5, 1969: Willie Stargell (Pirates)
506 feet to RF (estimated)

It’s remarkable that the only player to hit two balls out of Dodger Stadium didn’t even play for the home team. But Stargell remains one of the greatest sluggers who ever lived, with 475 long balls to his credit, including a number of memorable blasts at parks around the National League. These shots, off Dodgers Andy Messersmith (1973) and Alan Foster (‘69) are also the only two, to this day, hit out of the stadium by left-handed batters.