|Tuesday, July 24
Williams hits ball out of Yankee Stadium
ESPN.com news services
NEW YORK -- It was a shot that will live in Yankees' lore for quite some time, and it came in batting practice.
The epic blast came Sunday off Bernie Williams' bat. The ball left Yankee Stadium, going through a gap near the subway tracks in right field.
"I didn't see it," Williams told The New York Post. "But I noticed that it never came back, so that should have been some indication it was out. Batting practice is a great relief and release of tension for me. I've had a lot of tension this year, so it's kind of like hitting a punching bag. I always try to hit the ball hard, but that's as hard as I've ever hit one. That's a long way."
It's a feat that no Yankee slugger had ever accomplished before -- not Babe Ruth, not Mickey Mantle, not Reggie Jackson.
According to The Post, there are disputes about Josh Gibson and Frank Howard home runs leaving the park, but neither has been confirmed.
"I know I never saw it happen," Whitey Ford said. "The best shots I ever saw were from (Mantle). He hit the one off the facade and a couple off the back of the bleachers, but no one ever hit it out, even in practice."
Yankee Stadium is configured differently now than it was during Ruth's and Mantle's days.
"It was much higher back then," Ford said. "But Bernie's must have been quite a shot. He's got great power. After they changed the stadium, though, I figured someone would eventually do it."