Unsolved Mystery

Did Yaz hit the facade?

Red Sox Fan From Pinstriped Territory wants to know.

A couple sources say Carl Yastrzemski  slammed a home run on June 19, 1977 — the final game of the infamous three-game series against the Yankees in which Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin fought on national TV — so far that it hit Fenway Park’s right-field facade, where now sits Yaz’s own retired number (among others). But the game stories of the time don’t seem to mention what surely would be a trajectory worth noting.

Famously, no one has ever hit a ball out of Fenway to right field. And, like Jere says in his post, wouldn’t a facade blast — by Yaz no less — be remembered similarly to Ted Williams’ red-seat bomb or Mantle’s own facade dinger?

If it did happen, and it’s not so remembered, shouldn’t it be?

[EDITOR’S NOTE:  Red Sox VP Emeritus and Club Historian Dick Bresciani graciously answered our email with the following note, confirming that Yaz did, in fact, hit the facade.  Mystery solved!

"that is the correct date for Yaz but the Reggie – Martin incident happened the day before during the Sat. NBC game.  Yaz hit it off Dick Tidrow and it is the only ball ever to hit the façade in RF at Fenway.  I have never seen anyone come close.  If a HR is hit into the RF stands 10 or more rows it appears to be quite a blast.  Imagine Yaz’ ball towering high enough to hit the façade!"]

14 comments… add one

  • museum of Television and Radio, here I come! IS there any footage of it?

    Nick-YF January 22, 2008, 2:06 pm
  • I have a crack squad of Red Sox historians working on this.

    SF January 22, 2008, 2:09 pm
  • Another good question. Surely, there must be. But it wasn’t the nationally televised game, and WSBK isn’t WSBK anymore (and doesn’t broadcast Sox games anymore either), so who knows where their footage is at. (I assume WSBK did the coverage; didn’t they do local broadcasts before NESN?)

    Paul SF January 22, 2008, 2:11 pm
  • I should add, as I realized upon re-reading my post that it sounds like the home run came in the same game as the Jackson-Martin fight. I meant the homer was part of the series in which the fight is the most famous part.
    Since the fight occurred on national TV, we would most certainly have coverage had the homer occurred then. Alas, it was the next day, and NBC had gone home…

    Paul SF January 22, 2008, 3:39 pm
  • Mystery solved! See the editor’s note above.

    SF January 22, 2008, 3:47 pm
  • So the question now is:
    Why don’t more people know this, and how should the Red Sox make it more well known?
    Finding footage of it would help…

    Paul SF January 22, 2008, 3:50 pm
  • // Yaz hit it off Dick Tidrow and it is the only ball ever to hit the façade in RF at Fenway. I have never seen anyone come close. //
    Yaz must have been juicing that year.
    But seriously, when I think of the accomplishments of a raw talent like Carl Yastrzemski, it makes my blood boil how some treat steroids scandals like no big deal. Here was a guy who played the sport right. Should we not care that others are achieving better numbers with the aid of PEDs?
    (Note: It’s amazing that even with all that help, no one has snagged the Triple Crown since Yaz 40+ years ago.)

    Hudson January 22, 2008, 4:33 pm
  • I was at that game (whole series, actually). We had 1st base roof box seats so we saw it from a decent enough vantage point. I am guessing that the reason it did not get much press is because it wasn’t a particularly Riceian shot. It was a very, very high ball that may or may not have grazed the facade on its way down. I recall us discussing it with others near us and we all came to the conclusion that it probably did hit something hanging from the facade because its trajectory slightly changed on the way down. But there were also opinions among us that it hit something under the facade, specifically the roof support.

    Dirty Water January 22, 2008, 4:42 pm
  • good work guys. thank you mr. bresciani. some of the longest home runs i’ve seen in fenway were during the ’99 All Star home run derby. the manny blast off k-rod in the ALDS still seems to be the hardest hit ball i’ve seen in years. that ball was gone in a heartbeat.

    sf rod January 22, 2008, 4:47 pm
  • Speaking of the ’99 HR Derby, I gotta say, the unpleasantness of the steroids scandal takes away none of the fun I had standing on Landsdowne St, watching those missiles (and especially from McGwire) sail onto and over the parking garage and towards the Pike. That was a hoot and a half.
    I guess I shouldn’t catch myself saying such things if I’m ever within earshot of Bud Selig. “See! Someone enjoyed the steroids era! Vindication!”

    FenSheaParkway January 22, 2008, 4:59 pm
  • By the way, Lohud is reporting that Mattingly left the Dodger’s staff for “family reasons.”

    walein January 22, 2008, 5:55 pm
  • Thanks Walein! There is a post up now.

    John - YF January 22, 2008, 8:46 pm
  • There was a home run hit by Jack Clark for the Red Sox that some would say is the longest homer ever! The ball, when viewed by the TV camera (probably WSBK Channel 38) as it went over very high over the left field wall and towrds the foul line, appeared to hit a Moosehead Beer billboard that was atop a building that now houses a Pizzerina Uno in Kenmore Square. I guess that it would be about 1/4 mile. There is no way that the ball could have gone that far. The ball probably hit a telephone wire in it’s path that would not have been visible because it was so thin.

    DM March 13, 2008, 11:05 am
  • I was sitting in the RF bleachers and absolutely remember the ball hitting the facade (you could hear the bang of the ball off the facade as well). Maybe a Globe or Herald archive would show something?

    ETM August 5, 2009, 7:52 pm

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