A Short Analysis of Long HRs in Oakland: 2006-2012

I don't admire them on purpose. Really.

After watching Yoenis Cespedes' 462 foot SHOT on Friday night, it got me thinking about long home runs at the Coliseum.

Before that, however, let's take a moment to watch it again:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=20411309&c_id=mlb

Being one of the hardest places to hit HRs in the major leagues, it stands to reason that this was one of the longest HRs hit at the Coliseum in recent years. So, where does Cespedes' shot rank in recent Coliseum history? Well, here it is, with help from the folks at www.hittrackeronline.com (now owned by ESPN)

Top 10 HR distances at O.co Coliseum/Oakland Alameda County Coliseum/McAfee Coliseum, 2006-2012:

Date Hitter HitterTeam TrueDist.
04/06/12 Cespedes, Yoenis OAK 462
08/13/08 Pena, Carlos TB 453
04/20/10 Rodriguez, Alex NYY 452
06/08/09 Cust, Jack OAK 449
09/03/09 Hall, Bill SEA 448
09/22/06 Kendrick, Howie LAA 448
08/29/07 Overbay, Lyle TOR 448
08/06/09 Blalock, Hank TEX 447
07/15/11 Willingham, Josh OAK 446
09/20/11 Beltre, Adrian TEX 445

As you can see, Cespedes’ HR is easily the longest one hit in Oakland since 2006. Of course, most of the big bombs belong to A’s visitors, with the exception of Willingham’s mammoth 2nd deck shot last year and a Jack Cust drive. Some people on here and on Twitter also referenced Cespedes’ blast being Thomasian. Actually, while Thomas definitely hit some long HR during his stint in Oakland, his most titanic blast was 27 feet short of Cespedes’:

Frank Thomas 400 foot+ HR's, 2006, McAfee Coliseum

Date Hitter HitterTeam TrueDist.
07/06/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 435
08/28/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 423
07/28/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 422
09/05/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 420
08/14/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 416
05/07/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 415
05/19/08 Thomas, Frank OAK 412
06/01/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 411
07/26/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 408
04/15/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 407
04/03/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 406
09/17/06 Thomas, Frank OAK 406
04/14/06 Thomas, Frank OAK

405

(I also asked the A’s for historical home run distance data, but according to Bob Rose (A’s PR Director), these data were never kept. I guess the in-stadium reported distances were only for fun? To be honest, I always thought they undersold distances anyway.)

I can recall two in-game HR I saw in person that really made my jaw drop, aside from Cespedes’ blast:

  • Around 1999 or so (when he was good), Ben Grieve hit one well up into section 243-4 or so during a game. If my memory serves me correctly, and my estimate of the location is accurate, that would be well past Cespedes’ blast. 485 feet or so? I want to say it was against the Orioles, but it was 13 years ago – shoot me!
  • A couple years before that Bill Hasselman took one into the walkway between Mt. Davis at the old structure in dead LF, well below the flagpoles but in that direction.

What are the longest Coliseum HR you’ve seen? Feel free to describe it, whether it was pre- or post-Mt. Davis.

Join me shortly before 7:05 for a game thread!

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