The Colorado Rockies have hit some monster home runs this season. On June 6, Mark Reynolds blasted one 460 feet in a blowout win versus Cleveland. On June 10, Charlie Blackmon clubbed one 455 feet against the Cubs in Chicago.
None of those baseballs traveled as far as the one Rockies starting pitcher Jon Gray belted in the Rockies’ 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. In the bottom of the second inning, Gray smacked a Scott Feldman pitch 467 feet to center field.
It was Gray’s first home run as a professional, and his first in a live game since he was a junior college player at Eastern Oklahoma State in 2011.
“It felt really good,” said Gray, who allowed three runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings pitched. “I put a good swing on it.”
The ball left Gray’s bat an an exit velocity of 104.9 mph, according to Statcast. ESPN’s David Schoenfield pointed out that three quarters of the participants in Monday’s Home Run Derby have yet to hit a homer this season that traveled as far as Gray’s did.
“I see Jon in B.P. (batting practice), and he’s got some strength to his swing,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “I mean, that ball was crushed. That was a big one.”
Rockies clubhouse attendant Mike Pontarelli tried to locate the ball once it landed. Fans told Ponterilli that Gray’s homer ricocheted off the stands and into one of the fountains that’s located in straightaway center. Pontarelli tried to fish the ball out of the water but couldn’t determine which baseball was the one Gray hit.
“It hit the stands and shot right into the water,” Pontarelli said. “It might have kicked around the bushes, but they said it was for sure in the water. I saw a couple others that could’ve been, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.”
Gray won’t be able to display his first home run ball at his home like some big-league players do.
“I think it bounced into the water,” Gray said. “So it’s gone. Forever.”
At least the tweets will live on.
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