BOSTON (CBS) — Mickey Mantle is credited with hitting the longest home run in the history of baseball. The exact distance of that dinger, however, is a point of much debate, and there is no way to ever properly determine which player owns the record for longest home run in history.
Yet David Ortiz made his mark on the history books on Wednesday, and this one leaves much less debate.
The Red Sox’ designated hitter, never known for his speed on the base paths, took the longest trot around the bases in recorded history, according to TaterTrotTracker.com. It took Ortiz 32.91 seconds to round the bases, and that’s giving him the benefit of the doubt that his right foot touched the plate first (the website explained that video wasn’t clear on that).
Now, that news comes with a caveat: The website didn’t begin tracking the length of home run trots until 2010, so admittedly, the “history” isn’t very deep. But Ortiz’s half-minute stroll was nevertheless an impressive feat.
There was, of course, a reason for the length of this particular trot. Ortiz hit the game-winning three-run home run to right field in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s matinee against the Texas Rangers. Because the ball looked like it might have been curling foul, Ortiz waited in the batter’s box to wait on the call. After the ball sailed high over Pesky’s Pole and landed in the seats, the ball was ruled to be fair. At that point, Ortiz began his jaunt around the bases at his normal leisurely pace.
“It was pretty close, but I knew it was fair,” Ortiz said in the clubhouse after the game. “I wanted to make sure it was fair, [so] I stayed watching it. I don’t know why I keep on hitting balls down the line like that. … I saw it all the way. The wind was blowing hard down the line, but it seemed like I made good contact with it, and that probably was the benefit I had in keeping it fair.”
Ortiz has found himself in a bit of hot water in the past for “admiring” a similar home run. Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price expressed frustration with Ortiz for waiting on the fair/foul call on a homer he hit during the ALDS last October. Price’s emotion likely had more to do with the seven earned runs he allowed that day more than anything Ortiz did wrong.
Regarding Wednesday’s homer, which came off Neal Cotts, Ortiz was asked if he’s surprised pitchers still try to sneak fastballs inside past him.
“No. I’m old, man,” Ortiz joked. “Trying to take the benefit of that.”