Aug. 18 Homers: Fireworks at Wrigley

On August 18, 2006 there were 40 home runs in 17 games, including 8 at Wrigley Field during the Cardinals-Cubs game. (See the scatter plot of Wrigley Field homers to the right)

  Of those 8 Wrigley homers, 4 would have had a chance to leave the park before this season, when the bleachers were expanded, but the new higher stands kept all 8 inside with the paying customers.  Bummer for the ballhawks (hello to Dave Davison, who has helped me out several times in spotting the landing points of homers that have made it onto Waveland Ave beyond the sight lines of the home plate camera…)

Top 5 Homers by True Distance for Aug. 18, 2006: (complete list here)

  1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals, 450 feet
  2. Alfonso Soriano, Nationals, 447 feet
  3. Aramis Ramirez, Cubs, 440 feet
  4. Preston Wilson, Cardinals, 433 feet
  5. Michael Barrett, Cubs, 431 feet

Notable homers:

  • St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols scorched a 450 homer to left-center field at Wrigley during the Cards’ 11-3 win over the Cubs.  The ball left "King Albert"’s bat at a speedy 115.7 mph, his 4th fastest homer off the bat, and the 450 feet tied for his second longest homer of 2006..  It also tied Detroit’s Chris Shelton’s June 18th blast for the longest homer at Wrigley Field this year.Soriano_alfonso_scatter_aug18_2006_3
  • Alfonso Soriano hammered a 447 foot home run into "Ashburn’s Alley" in center field at
    Citizens Bank Park during the Nationals’ 6-4 win over the Phillies.  Soriano’s dinger was the
    hottest shot of the day at 117.6 mph off the bat!  Soriano is a dead pull hitter, as can be seen on his home run scatter plot: dead center field is about as far right as he typically goes…
  • Preston Wilson knocked his first homer for the Cardinals, a 433 foot line drive at Wrigley Field that came off the bat at 112.6 mph.
  • Adam LaRoche hit a 388 foot homer at Dolphins Stadium during the Braves 6-1 win over the Marlins.  Ordinarily that wouldn’t merit making the highlight list, but it was the shape of LaRoche’s homer that was so remarkable.  He hit the ball at a blistering 120.6 mph, at a vertical angle of 47 degrees, into a 10 mph wind.  LaRoche’s homer stayed in the air for 6.96 seconds, the longest flight time this year of 4,086 home runs through Aug. 18.  Click on the link above to see the flight path of the homer: the red dots are the position of the ball at 1-second intervals, the green dot is the observation point (in this case where it landed in the right field seats), and the blue dot (buried under the others in this case) is the spot where the ball would have landed if it had not stuck something before returning all the way back down to field level.



    Why doesn’t the 4th fastest ball speed off back travel the 4th farthest? (is Pujols’ homer)???
    I guess this is a physics question.

    …. and I appreciate your work here… I check everyday to see if a new homer cracks the list.

  2. Greg

    Great question. It’s generally a matter of the elevation angle that a particular ball was hit at. Pujols homer yesterday at Wrigley came off the bat at an angle of only 28.2 degrees, which is well on the “line drive” end of the “line drive vs. moon ball” spectrum. So it wouldn’t go as far.

    However, the other very significant factor is the atmospeheric conditions. A ball hit hard, but into the wind or on a cold day, will end up with a shorter “true distance” (though that won’t affect its “standard distance”, which factors out the atmospherics.) Also, balls hit at a higher altitude (such as Coors Field, Chase Field in Phoenix or Turner Field in Atlanta) will go farther, and may outdistance a harder hit ball closer to sea level (AT&T Park, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park).

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