On April 14, 1976 — In the 6th inning of today’s 6 – 5 loss to Chicago, the Mets’ Dave Kingman hits what will become widely regarded as the longest home run ever hit in Wrigley Field, estimated at 600 feet in many of the next day’s press accounts, with the putative “paper of record” going as high as 630. Some cold water is applied to these claims by longtime Cubs’ broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, speaking in 1982 with Paul Susman of Baseball Digest: “Brickhouse revealed that the ball was greatly helped by a strong wind of about 35 miles per hour. Brickhouse estimated Kingman’s blast in reality went about 500 feet.” To be fair to Kingman, the Cubs’ own scoresheet for this game estimates “530 to 550 feet,” which in conjunction with researcher Bill Jenkinson’s assertion of 530 feet as the distance between home plate and the point of obstruction, would suggest a typo or simple misreading as the culprit in the inflated Times estimate.
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