OTD in 1953: Mickey Mantle hit first “tape measure home run” at Griffith Stadium

Yesterday, Thom Loverro of The Wash. Examiner reminded us that today is the 60th anniversary of Mickey Mantle‘s famed 565-feet home run – Thom Loverro: Sixty years later, still feeling Mickey Mantle’s clout in D.C.

Mantle hit the powerful homer off of Chuck Stobbs of the Washington Senators. The ball blasted past an advertising sign out of Griffith Stadium. New York Yankees P.R. executive Red Patterson decided that it needed to be measured and it became known as a “tape measure home run.” It only became known a generation later that Patterson had merely “walked-off the distance.”

In her definitive biography of Mantle, The Last Boy, author Jane Leavy devoted an entire chapter to this homer. She commissioned a report to see how far it probably went on the fly (not 565 feet) and found the man, Donald Dunaway, who had recovered the ball when he was a sixth grader playing hooky. On her Web site, Leavy has a gallery of the area circa 2008 as well as photos of Dunaway, Griffith Stadium and newspaper clippings from the time. Howard University hospital now occupies the stadium footprint.

Stobbs lived until 2008. For a “the lives they lived” issue of the Post Sunday Magazine, Leavy wrote an obituary for him: Chuck Stobbs | 1929-2008.

In the 1960s, my mother worked for the Yankees and would occasionally be asked to sign Mantle’s autograph for fan mail.

UPDATE

@ESPNStatsInfo has posted the modern day equivalent of where it would go, presumably from both sides of the plate:

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