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What’s the longest home run ever hit?

The longest home run ever hit is a question that baseball fans have long debated. For decades, mammoth home runs by sluggers like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle set distance records that seemed unbreakable. However, with advancements in player training, nutrition, and equipment, modern MLB players have repeatedly surpassed the limits thought possible for home run distances.

Babe Ruth’s Legendary Home Runs

In the early 20th century, Babe Ruth revolutionized baseball with his prodigious home run hitting. During his career from 1914 to 1935, Ruth set multiple records for homers that stood for decades. His longest verified home run was estimated at 575 feet, hit in 1926 at League Park in Cleveland. However, Ruth was also credited with several homers in the 600-700 foot range that were likely exaggerated. His most famous long home run was a 1923 blast at Yankee Stadium estimated between 550 to 600 feet. Despite the uncertainty over Ruth’s longest homers, he set a standard for tape measure shots that amazed fans.

Mickey Mantle’s Moonshots

Ruth’s Yankee Stadium teammate Mickey Mantle electrified crowds in the 1950s and 60s with his own titanic blasts. ‘The Mick’ regularly hit balls over 500 feet. His longest verified home run was a 1953 shot at Washington’s Griffith Stadium that flew 565 feet. Mantle also hit several homers at Yankee Stadium that may have exceeded 600 feet, although the exact distances were never confirmed. Like Ruth, Mantle demonstrated the ability to hit for tremendous power that evoked wonder about just how far he could hit a ball.

The 500 Foot Barrier Falls

After Mantle retired in 1968, many believed 500 feet was the upper limit on home run distance. Pitchers like Nolan Ryan began throwing harder, making tape measure homers less frequent. However, the 500 foot mark was finally broken by Cecil Fielder in 1990 with a blast estimated at 518 feet. In July 1999, former football player Mark McGwire broke that record with a 510 foot homer. Suddenly, 500 feet no longer seemed an unreachable feat.

New Players, New Records

The 1998 MLB expansion brought larger ballparks more conducive to long homers. Hitters also began focusing more on upper cutting swings tailored for power hitting. In May 1999, Jose Canseco became the first player to reach a measured 500 foot homer. But the 500 foot barrier was shattered in September 2001 when Luis Gonzalez hit one 526 feet in Coors Field. Players were now approaching Ruthian distances. But the question remained – could anyone actually surpass 600 feet?

Changing Technology for Measuring Blasts

As players approached and exceeded 500 feet in the 1990s, MLB began utilizing new technology to more accurately measure home run distances. The traditional method of visual estimation was replaced by scientific calculation of trajectory and environmental factors. Lasers and video tracking offered new precision, but initially cast doubt on earlier records. However, these tools would also validate the game’s true moonshots.

Player Distance Year
Mark McGwire 510 feet 1999
Jose Canseco 500 feet 1999
Luis Gonzalez 526 feet 2001

In Search of 600 Feet

By the early 2000s, fans and experts agreed: with athletes stronger than ever, the technology to measure accurately, and new hitter friendly ballparks, baseball’s first 600 foot home run was nearing reality. Many scoffed at blasts from Ruth and Mantle once estimated beyond 600 feet. But the question now was not if but who would be the first to definitively reach the once mythical mark. In 2002, a Nike advertisement with Mark McGuire declared “663 feet seems reachable.” It soon would be.

Leading Candidates Emerge

Several sluggers emerged as candidates to break the 600 foot barrier. In May 1999, McGwire hit a ball estimated at 555 feet that some thought exceeded 600. Barry Bonds hitting legendary homers at San Francisco’s home run friendly park, with a 576 footer in 2001. But the leaders in longest verified homers were Sammy Sosa and new Yankee Jason Giambi. Sosa hit a 588 foot blast in 1999. Giambi would hit two 510 foot shots at Yankee Stadium in 2002 and 2003. Many predicted one of these sluggers would smash the 600 foot mark. But the answer came from an unlikely underdog.

Giles Strides into History

The first player to definitively reach 600 feet was not an MLB All-Star, but a 29 year old minor leaguer named Adam Dunn. Prior to the 2004 season, while playing for the Cincinnati Reds Triple A affiliate, Dunn smashed a ball out of Louisville’s Slugger Field. The homer was precisely measured at 575 feet using a laser system. But in a mid-summer game that season, Dunn topped himself by hitting a 603 foot home run that finally eclipsed the elusive mark. For fans of tape measure blasts, baseball had a new legendary long ball just shy of Ruth’s mythical best.

The Age of the Mega-Blast

Dunn’s record lasted less than a season. In July 2005, high school prospect Mickel Brooks hit a ball measured at 616 feet with a hollow aluminum bat at the Power Showcase, a scouting event held in Columbus, Ohio. Using the same laser system, Brooks had definitively claimed the new distance record. Within MLB, Dunn reached 580 feet again in 2005, second only to Brooks. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard of the Phillies both exceeded 500 feet as well. In 2015, Giancarlo Stanton hit a 504 footer, the longest in baseball since 2012. But Brooks and Dunn remain atop the record books for true tape measure power.

How Far Can They Hit?

The 600 foot barrier has been broken. Batting champ Aaron Judge has come within 10 feet. Bryce Harper won a 2018 Home Run Derby hitting homers over 500 feet. Are there limits to how far a human can hit a baseball? Some believe new materials in bats and balls could lead to 650 foot homers, with others predicting 700 feet is possible. But while we may see increases, there may be physical constraints to maximum possible distance. The debate continues, with a new question: What is the upper limit for homerun distance? 600 feet no longer seems the ceiling for tape measure shots. Monster moonshots could continue redefining distance records. But for now, Brooks and Dunn remain atop the record books for true tape measure power.


From Babe Ruth to Adam Dunn, the record for baseball’s longest home run has repeatedly been broken as players push the boundaries of power hitting. Advances in conditioning, technique, and equipment have allowed modern MLB sluggers to surpass the limits thought unreachable just a generation ago. While legendary shots by Ruth and Mantle may never be verified, laser-measured blasts have proven homers can travel over 600 feet. The upper limits of human power remain unknown, so even longer distances may one day be achieved. But the current record holders of Adam Dunn at 603 feet and Mickel Brooks at 616 feet have truly hit baseball’s most monumental moonshots. Their epic home runs stand as testaments to the incredible power that dedicated athletes can generate.