The absurd Hall of Fame Case: Adam Dunn

Because he, you know, hit a baseball into another state

January 11th, 2020
Art by Tom Forget /

Soon, a select few legends are going to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame -- icons like, say, Derek Jeter. But there are plenty of other players on the 2020 ballot worthy of remembering. Players who were fun. Players who had great careers. Players who did things you or I could never do on a baseball field. Players like …

The Big Donkey. The Number One Dunner. Cy Dunn.

Sure, Derek Jeter became an international celebrity with five World Series rings, Larry Walker was one of the best all-around players we've ever seen and Barry Bonds is the home run king. But did any of them, did anybody in the 151-year history of the sport, ever hit a baseball into another state?

One person did. His name was .

Dunn's dinger off Jose Lima back in 2004 -- one of 462 in his career -- went over the Great American Ball Park fence, and then, as his Reds teammates recalled, never came back down. It flew over the 404-foot mark in center field, sailed past the 20-foot patch of grass beyond the fence and carried over the 32-foot high batter's eye. It then bounced off Mehring Way -- the road that runs around the outside of the stadium -- and bounded another 200 feet (!!) onto a piece of driftwood in the Ohio River. According to local geographers, that lower portion of the Ohio River outside the ballpark is officially located in the state of Kentucky. Dunn had hit one 535 feet across state lines. It's like a tall tale. Adam Dunn is Paul Bunyan.

How far does that look like in a graphic I found? This far. Really far.

And here's an overhead shot of the stadium. As you can see, the river runs pretty close to the stadium (if you can hit a ball over three different walls and a giant road).

And just think: If stadium electrician Tom Tuerck hadn't picked it up and delivered it back to Dunn, who knows where it could've ended up? There's Indiana to the west, Illinois, the Mississippi River and then the rest of middle America. Could it have floated down to the Gulf of Mexico? The Atlantic? Maybe it could've toured the world -- bobbing up and down in our great waters and capturing the public's attention like the moon landing or the great llama escape of 2015. Literally taking baseball global.

Thanks, TOM.

Either way, hitting a baseball into a completely different state is quite the feat and will likely never happen again. We should all remember that. We should all remember Adam Dunn.