Tomasik: Willie McCovey and his legendary St. Louis home run

From SABR member Mark Tomasik at RetroSimba on August 18, 2012:

When Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday recently launched a mammoth home run into the area of Busch Stadium III known as Big Mac Land, it naturally drew comparisons with the shots hit by former St. Louis slugger and current batting coach Mark McGwire.

But before McGwire, who played for the Cardinals from 1997-2001, another Big Mac, Giants first baseman Willie McCovey, may have hit the longest home run seen in St. Louis.


Shannon, calling Holliday’s king-sized home run on KMOX radio, immediately thought back to Sept. 4, 1966. On that Sunday afternoon, McCovey hit what Shannon told his listeners was the longest home run he’d witnessed.

Leading off the third inning against Cardinals starter Al Jackson, McCovey hit a ball that landed in the upper deck above the scoreboard in right-center field at Busch Stadium II. (The ballpark opened four months earlier, in May 1966.)

Shannon was playing right field for the Cardinals that day and “had a good look” at McCovey’s home run. Shannon said he later asked McCovey (who had 521 career home runs in the major leagues) whether it was the longest ball he’d hit. “I don’t know if it was the longest,” Shannon said McCovey replied, “but it was the hardest.” Boxscore

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Originally published: August 24, 2012. Last Updated: August 24, 2012.