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Yanks Top A’s as Mantle’s Titanic Homer Strikes Stadium Facade

May 22, 1963 - The Yankees brought down the Kansas City Athletics, 8-7, in a tough 11-innning struggle today at Yankee Stadium. Mickey Mantle celebrated Gordon Cooper Day by putting another sphere into outer space, belting one of the most powerful home run drives of his spectacular career. First up in the last of the 11th with the score deadlocked at 7 and a count of 2 balls and 2 strikes, the famed Switcher leaned into one of Bill Fischer’s fastballs and sent the ball soaring. It crashed against the copper-oxidized green upper facade of the right-field stand, which towers 108 feet above the playing field, and dropped down into the upper deck, leaving Fischer and the crowd of 9,727 speechless. A little higher and it would have become the first fair ball ever to sail out of the Stadium. Once before, Mantle came close. That was on May 30, 1956, off Pedro Ramos, then with the Senators. In the opener of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Mantle crushed a 1-0 pitch from Ramos that hit the Stadium’s right-field facade, about 18 inches from leaving the ballpark. Had the ball not hit the facade, it was estimated it would have traveled 620 feet. Nevertheless, Mantle called today’s shot “the hardest ball I ever hit.” “I thought it would hit the facade, but I didn’t think it would go all the way out of the park.”


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