US Presswire photo
Michael Morse circles the bases following his titanic home run.
"I've hit some good ones this year," Morse said. "That one in Houston (July 18, over the train tracks in left field) felt pretty good."
How about May 23 in Milwaukee, the one to deep right-center?
"Milwaukee was a pretty good one, too," he replied.
What about last week at Nationals Park, when he reached the second deck underneath the scoreboard?
"Yeah, that was a good one, too," Morse said.
Hmm, we may need to consult a more authoritative source than the man who actually hit the ball. Like ESPN's Home Run Tracker, which has calculated the true distance of every home run hit in the major leagues since 2005.
Turns out last night's blast topped all of Morse's previous ones. True distance: 466 feet.
That's the longest home run hit at Wrigley Field since 2008, when Adam Dunn (then with the Reds) poked one 486 feet onto Sheffield Avenue.
Dunn's shot, though, went straight down the right-field line. Morse's homer landed in waters rarely reached around here. A couple of local sportswriters who have been covering the Cubs for decades (Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune and Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald) couldn't remember seeing anyone else hit one there. Possibly Sammy Sosa in his heyday.
Morse, of course, doesn't like to brag. Or think too much about what he's doing so well during his breakout season. He's now only the seventh National to reach the 20-homer mark in a season (joining Dunn, Alfonso Soriano, Ryan Zimmerman, Josh Willingham, Jose Guillen and Nick Johnson). And he's hitting them farther than any other National since Dunn.
Morse has produced six homers of at least 440 feet this season. Nobody in baseball has hit more of that length. Not Prince Fielder (three). Not Ryan Howard or Josh Hamilton (four apiece). Not Justin Upton or Nelson Cruz (five apiece).
"I mean, It's up there with my top ones that felt good, at least," Morse said of last night's rocket. "But as long as it goes over the fence, I don't care how far or how not far it is."