When the Angels’ Mike Trout knocked the stuffing out of the ball in the first inning Friday night at Kauffman Stadium, Royals officials in the press box, as they always do, referred to the chart they’ve long used to provide distance information and announced the blast that landed in the fountain to the left of the scoreboard at 445 feet.
A monster blast, by any measure. But moments later another figure was provided, this by ESPN — 489 feet.
If that was the case, the home run would be the longest in Kauffman Stadium history.
It’s not. Officially, the Royals have the call, and their number stands, and the widely accepted longest home runs in stadium history still belong to Reds catcher Johnny Bench, who hit a ball 480 feet to left field during the 1973 All-Star Game, according to Royals publications, and Bo Jackson’s 475-foot shot in 1986.
Here’s the difference: The Royals measure where the ball lands, or in this case, splashes.
ESPN measures where the ball would have landed based on an uninterrupted path of travel back down to field level. So, if Kauffman Stadium’s field extended beyond the fountains, ESPN calculated the ball would have dropped 489 feet from home plate.
| Kathleen Gier and Blair Kerkhoff, The Star