If you missed it, Jason DeRusha of WCCO-TV did a story on how Target Field measures home runs for his Good Question during tonight’s 10 pm news. If you really missed it, Off The Mark has suddenly gained an obsession over the correct distance of home runs hit at Target Field during the past 27 hours. Fortunately for you, I did watch DeRusha’s Good Question segment tonight, so I can tell you the gist of the story.
Predictably, the guys at Target Field do not use any technical methods to measure home runs. As DeRusha said, two guys at Target Field use a map of the stadium with some distances recorded to guess how far the ball was hit. If you want to know the distance traveled immediately, this is a crude but simple method.
To my amazement, Jason DeRusha actually left me a comment telling me that he had recently contacted HitTracker (I went to Twitter and found out it was indeed DeRusha, not someone pranking me like I first thought), which gave me the idea that he was going to also talk about the website. Once again, I was correct.
As I said in my previous posts, using something like HitTracker to measure home runs is far more accurate, but also more time-consuming. The method used currently at Target Field is adequate, but the next time you see a home run and it’s claimed to have traveled over 440 feet, you may want to hold some doubt until other sources cite the same info.