By: Alfredo Alvarez (Twitter: @AlfreAlvarez3)
Who hit the longest homerun in baseball history?
If you are guessing it was Babe, Mantle or Bonds… well, you are wrong. The date was August 11, 1959. But it would not be just another baseball game, instead it will have a memorable moment. In Carlsbad, New Mexico, 49 years ago, the fans, players, referees and anybody who was present, had the joy of witnessing the longest homerun of all times.
They all stared in amazement as the queen of the 108 seams disappeared into the darkness, over a sixty-foot-high lamppost, just above the 330-foot mark in left-field. The batter was outfielder Gil Carter of Carlsbad Potashers of the Class D Sophomore League.
The pitcher was Wayne Schaper, of the Dodgers of Odessa, Texas. Carter, connect it on the first pitch of Schaper, for him it was a fastball at the height of the belt. Carter’s grunt as he hit it was stronger than the sound of the ball hitting the bat.
In the press box, public broadcaster Bill West, the operator of Western Union, and the official scorekeeper, who was also the sports editor of the local newspaper, seemed to have seen a UFO.
Carter was a former 218 pound boxer from Topeka. He had been a fullback in high school, but he lived in Kansas City when the Chicago Cubs assigned him to the small spa town and potash mining town on the Pecos River, near the wonderful caverns that bear the name of the city. It was said that he had won sixty-one of sixty-eight amateur and professional fights. He had the physique of a weightlifter. Carter was only twenty-three years old.
Do not call it a «myth» or a legend. «We’re clear that the homer was not in the Major Leagues, the air was blowing hard and the three-thousand-foot elevation was combined with the batter himself, to produce this monster shoot. The distance is well documented. Carlsbad C. F, Charley Montgomery, was the owner and general manager of Potashers and explained that the owner of a house found a baseball in his garden, the next day in front of a peach tree, surrounded by green peaches on the ground, which indicated that the ball crashed between the limbs and the leaves of the limb and then, lowered and bounced.
There were no other peaches fallen on the path. To imagine someone moving the ball farther in a straight line on purpose is ridiculous.
And this little detail:
Montgomery was the developer of the subdivision beyond the left field fence of Montgomery Field. He knew all streets and alleys. He also knew the depth of each lot. In his office, he spread a map on a conference table and Carlsbad sports editor, Current-Argus, who was the official scorer that night, was also an air photographer trained in military service. The next day, he flew over the field and photographed the scene.
Prints were presented at Montgomery’s desk.
The mammoth homerun was measured, the ball was found at seven hundred and thirty feet from home.
You can read this article in Spanish here:
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