C.J. Cron’s rise in Major League Baseball has been slow but steady. He’s 32 and has played for five teams and is in the middle of his second year with the Rockies. He made his first All-Star game this summer. Yet, the biggest, or should I say longest, individual play of his career took place Friday night in Denver. Coors Field has long been known as a hitter’s park and Cron wanted to put that label to the ultimate test, smashing a ball more than 500 BAH GAWD feet.
Cron smoked the first pitch of his fourth-inning at-bat down the third-base line, barely staying fair. It also may have gone into orbit with how far it traveled. The 504-foot home run landed behind a Toyota Tundra placed on the roof of a bathroom, clearing a wall set up to measure 485 feet from home plate. The dark and foggy night in Denver makes the ball hard to track from most of the time it leaves Cron’s bat until the last part of its descent.
The moon shot was part of a weird night of baseball between the Rockies and Diamondbacks. Cron’s homer, the longest in baseball this season, and tied for the second farthest homer all-time since MLB started using Statcast in 2015, gave Colorado an 8-1 lead. ESPN’s win probability gave the Rockies a 98.6%-win percentage at the time. By the end of the top of the fifth inning, Arizona had a 73%-win percentage, scoring nine runs in the frame. The Diamondbacks let in a run each in the sixth and seventh innings before losing 13-10 on a walk-off home run.
The longest home run in the Statcast era happened three years ago by former Texas Ranger Nomar Mazara at a ballpark no longer home to an MLB team, Globe Life Park. His upper-deck blast went 505 feet. Giancarlo Stanton also hit a home run 504 feet at Coors Field in 2016. There have been a few home runs prior to Statcast thought to be the longest of all time. A 1919 blast from Babe Ruth was originally thought to have traveled 587 feet, but the New York Times later reported it was 552 feet. Counting the minor leagues, in 1987, Joey Meyer, playing for the Denver Zephyrs, hit a 582-foot home run where the camera lost sight of the ball. The famous red seat at Fenway Park marks a 502-foot homer from Ted Williams in 1946.