On The Colorado Rockies’ Beat: Joey Meyer And The 582-Foot Homer


May 21, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; A general view of Coors Field in the ninth inning of the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rockies defeated the Phillies 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been pretty easy to write up the weekly ‘On The Colorado Rockies’ Beat’ posts, because of Ben Hochman’s great series in the Denver Post. 

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I must admit, Ben Hochman makes my job really easy. Well, not the whole thing here at Rox Pile, just specifically the On The Colorado Rockies’ Beat section that (attempts to) discuss media coverage around the Rockies, in Denver, and more generally about Major League Baseball.

That’s because Hochman is now six innings deep into this Nine Innings series that the Denver Post is doing, and it is phenomenal. Easily one of the better things the Post has done in the past few years.

If you haven’t done it yet, start reading the entire series from the first inning right here. And if you’ve been reading all of ’em anyways, then you need to read the latest inning on former Denver Zephyrs slugger Joey Meyer here.

Spoiler alerts for those of you who haven’t read it already, but I love how the story doesn’t really have an ending. We don’t really know how far the home run went (we can take guesses, but Mile High Stadium is, obviously, gone), and we don’t have any idea where the seat that “caught” the ball is now. That’s kind of cool.

We live in an era where absolutely everything gets measured. I love sabermetrics, and I love how sites like FanGraphs, and Brooks Baseball, and Baseball Reference measure literally everything about the game. But when you measure everything about the game of baseball, you do take away some of the mythical, and when you do that, you lose lore. That matters.

Does anybody really believe Mickey Mantle hit the longest home run ever? Considering how big and strong players are today, whether it was Jose Canseco, or Ken Griffey, Jr., or Mark McGwire, or Andres Galarraga with this mammoth shot in Florida, do we really believe that Mantle slugged the longest home run of all time in the big leagues, especially when you consider Mantle’s, um, diet and workout regimen in preparation for games?

Of course not. But there’s a legendary aspect to it. A mythical aspect that can never be challenged because we can never really measure Mantle’s blast, and compare it to Galarraga’s.

We can argue about it (and some do), but the mythical part of Mantle’s blast leaves it ultimately subjective.

The witnesses are (mostly) dead and gone. The stadium is long gone. Sabermetrics, and park factors, and instant replay won’t figure this one out for sure.

Like I said, I love sabermetrics, but we do lose something — at least esoterically — when we measure everything. For all that we gain in terms of historical insight and player comparisons, we lose a little bit of the mythology.

A little bit of the what if. A little bit of the bar-room debate about who hit the ball further. A little bit of the Joey Meyer. Not for nothing, who hit it further — Joey Meyer or Andres Galarraga?

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