Solo homer was a ‘Grand’ slam
Curtis Granderson’s ninth home run of the season Tuesday night off the Orioles’ Brian Matusz was a monster shot to right field that had heads scratching in the press box about how far it went. According to the Yankees’ public relations department, Grandy’s drive banged off the ribbon board at the base of the upper deck.
Even with video replays, it was hard to detect where the ball hit because the colors of the ribbon board blurred on the TV image. Anyway, it was definitely a bomb. Russell Branyan and Brandon Allen are the only players who have homered into the upper deck of the new Yankee Stadium.
The contour of the current ballpark with the stands slanted back makes upper-deck home runs not as prominent as the old Stadium in either of its versions. Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson were the kings of long home runs at Stadium I and Stadium II, respectively. No, I did not forget about Babe Ruth, but it has been acknowledged that Mantle hit tape-measure shots more often.
Another writer and I were talking about a couple of Mickey’s homers that struck the façade on the roof of the original Stadium. Such a blow would be virtually impossible today because the façade is much farther from the plate than it used to be.
Somehow, you don’t think of Granderson as that type of power hitter, but with 41 dingers last year and nine already this season in merely 23 games, the Yanks’ mighty-mite is reminding fans of another slugging center fielder.