Ever Wonder Where the Phrase ‘Tape-Measured’ Home Run Came From?
Baseball has become a game of statistics. There are analytical statistics for everything in today's game from "launch angles" on home runs to how many double-plays are hit on 2 and 2 counts. It's unbelievable how many statistics there are in the game these days. Numbers are numbers, but some numbers just stand out like the number associated with Mickey Mantle and the home run he hit on this date in 1953. Mantle, playing for the New York Yankees crushed a pitch from Washington Senator's pitcher Chuck Stobbs that cleared Washington's Griffith Stadium and landed in a backyard several houses up the street from the ballpark.
It was hit so far that a member of the press covering the game said "we need to go measure that one". It was estimated that the ball traveled 565 feet, the longest ever recorded. That home-run led to the phrase "a tape measured homer".
Mantle, later in 1963 against Kansas City, hit a homer that was projected to go even further that the one he hit in Washington. That ball hit the facade of Yankee Stadium on the way up. They estimated the ball would have gone 734 feet had it not hit the facade.
Mickey Mantle was one strong athlete. If you don't believe me, ask Quincy native Tom Gott who was Mantle's roommate when he and Mantle played together in the Yankee farm system in Joplin, Missouri.