Montgomery Township's Mike Ford Breaks MLB World Record in Stat Mishap
Montgomery Township's Mike Ford is still at it!
The New York Yankees' first baseman and pinch hitter thwacked a massive home run in the ninth inning against the Phillies on Monday night (July 20), ending the exhibition game in a 2-2 tie.
Ford's ball landed in the right field bleachers. MLB Statcast — a state-of-the-art tracking technology that allows for the collection and analysis of baseball data in ways that were never possible before 2015 — measured the ball traveled 680 feet!
The distance of more that two football fields — 680 feet would have been a new world record. The ball also would have land well outside of Yankees Stadium, rather than in the bleachers.
"The generous measurement was surely a mistake on the part of Statcast, but because we all need something to believe in during these desperate times, the Internet went ahead and ran with it, celebrating Ford’s groundbreaking and completely legitimate athletic achievement," according to sports color commentator Jesse Pantuosco.
To put things in perspective, here are the longest home runs of the past five years, according to Statecast.
2019: Nomar Mazara, Rangers: 505 feet
2018: Franchy Cordero, Padres: 489 feet
2017: Aaron Judge, Yankees: 495 feet
2016: Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins: 504 feet
2015: Michael Taylor, Nationals: 493 feet
Last season, with the Yankees ravaged by injuries, Ford finally got a shot in the big leagues. He hit 12 homers, seven doubles, and drove in 25 runs in 50 games for the Yankees.
Ford, 28, learned the game playing little league baseball in Montgomery Township, where he helped take his summer travel team to the Cal Ripken World Series when he was 12, and to the Babe Ruth World Series when he was 13.
He was a star pitcher and batter for Hun School, then for Princeton University where he made Ivy League history when he was named both conference player of the year and pitcher of the year in 2013. He began his professional career with short-A Staten Island.
Ford is projected to make the Yankees’ 26-man roster for the 2020 season as a left-handed hitting, part-time platoon at first base with Luke Voit. COVID-19 precautions have shortened the MLB season to 60 games, with no live audiences for now.