Big League Stew - MLB

Cincinnati Reds youngster Juan Francisco(notes) hit a home run over the moon Monday night. The "moon deck," that is, at Great American Ball Park.

Just because the NFL ended its lockout doesn't mean sports fans need only to look there for raw power. Just check out the muscles on Francisco, who connected for a titanically mammoth home run that went 502 feet* and over the right-field bleachers.

That ridiculous distance is not only the longest homer of the season, but — if it's authentic — it would be 16 feet longer than second place — Prince Fielder(notes) of the Brewers — going by Home Run Tracker.

*It was initially reported by AP as 502 feet. However, HRT reported Tuesday morning the home run went only 482 feet. Still far, but four feet short of Fielder's best clout.

It also was reported as the second-longest home run ever at Great American, where Adam Dunn(notes) once hit a ball 535 feet into the Ohio River (over a van!). Francisco's homer — his third of the season and fifth in his career — merely landed on Mehring Way, just beyond the confines of the stadium. The 24-year-old Francisco, who said he also hit a couple of balls out of the park at Class A Dayton, was told this one hit a tree. Watch:

His blast against Rodrigo Lopez(notes) got the Reds on the board in the second inning, but the Cubs won 12-8. Six homers were hit on the night, including two by Brandon Phillips(notes).

So momentous was Francisco's homer that an announcement was made over the public-address system. That was a new one for Cubs manager Mike Quade.

Reds’ Francisco clears Cincy bleachers with 502-foot* home run"I can't remember the P.A. guy announcing how far a ball went," Quade said. "How do they measure that?"

Oh, with computers and satellites, and protractors and laser pointers and stuff. Don't you worry about it.

Actually, given the contradictory distance reported by Home Run Tracker, it's a good question.

Going by the distance given by the Reds, Francisco would be the first major leaguer to surpass 500 feet since Dunn in September 2008 — while playing for Arizona — hit a homer 504 feet at Chase Field.

The more-recent homers still pale when compared to the one Dunn hit (before Home Run Tracker came along) against Jose Lima in 2004. Here's the account by John Fay in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

The ball cleared the 32-foot-high batter's eye in right-center field and ended up in the Ohio River. Dunn's shot, which traveled an estimated 535 feet, was the longest in Great American history. The ball bounced on Mehring Way before bouncing into the river.

Barry Larkin thought it might have gone farther than 535.

"You a need a physicist to figure out how far it would have gone," Larkin said.

It's really not all that complicated. Same technology that got us to the moon 40 years ago.

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