No question, one seriously impressive blast. One jaw-dropping home run. Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton’s homer in the first inning off Dodgers right-hander Mike Bolsinger was an absolute stunner.
Bolsinger said all he could do was laugh.
“You just look back and say, ‘That was awesome,’ and just go on with the game,” he said.
But let’s be clear about something – Stanton’s 467-foot homer did not clear the ballpark. He hit the awning or the canopy or whatever you want to call that corrugated metal roof covering the left-field pavilion and then it bounced over.
It’s where it hits, not where it ultimately comes to rest.
Now not everyone agrees with this viewpoint, including my colleague Dylan Hernandez, who never lets the facts get in the way of an easy story. Not my immediate supervisor. Not several veteran scribes in the press box.
Which doesn’t mean they’re not wrong.
If a ball bounces once, twice, eight times, and then goes out of the ballpark, that’s not hitting it out of the ballpark. If it rolls 80 feet and then ends up out of the ballpark, that’s not the same as hitting it out.
Willie Stargell hit two balls that almost landed in the Police Academy. He hit them out of the ballpark and nearly Chavez Ravine. Hitting coach Mark McGwire, then with the Cardinals, hit one so far they’re still measuring it. All three cleared the stadium. Some veterans remember one of Stargell’s home runs hitting the back of the canopy.
Maybe hitting it out and clearing the ballpark should be considered two different things. Mike Piazza hit a blast remarkably similar to Stanton’s (also measured at 478 feet) catching the back of the awning in left field and bouncing out.
Of course back then there was no concourse with concession stands and restrooms behind the bleachers.
If someone hit a home run over the bullpen between the Budweiser sign and the left-field pavilion and it landed on the concrete equal with the last row of the stands and it bounced up 70 feet and two more times before going out of the ballpark, did they hit it out of the stadium?
The Dodgers don’t have an official position on this, partially because it comes down to point of view. They used to keep a stat in the media guide about the three players to hit a home run out of the ballpark, but perhaps because Piazza’s hit also the awning, they decided to avoid the dispute and removed it.
Hey, all five were ridiculously, Herculean blasts. But for me, only Stargell and McGwire ever hit a homer out of Dodger Stadium. Their shots cleared the ballpark, roofs and all.