So I e-mailed Greg Rybarczyk from Hit Tracker, and this post was made possible by him. I can't say it any stronger than this: Thank you, Greg.
The Toyota promotion that I told you about before, I know now, is impossible to attain. It's a fabrication created by the Reds and Toyota, so just know the next time you go to Great American that the truck in center is a huge advertisement, and nothing more. As Greg says,
It might as well be on the moon.
This is Greg's full statement:
Bottom line, don't hold your breath. I marked it at 502 feet horizontally and 65 feet above field level.
On a calm, 70 degree day, a player would have to hit the ball at 134.5 mph off the bat, which is beyond the realm of possibility using MLB baseballs and MLB bats.
With a 15 mph tail wind and a 90 degree day, a hit of 122.7 mph would reach the truck. That is in fact possible by someone like Alex Rodriguez, or maybe Wily Mo Pena, but I doubt a lefty could hit one that hard in that direction. Also, at 500 horizontal feet from home plate, that's quite a lucky shot to go in just the right direction. And by the way, last year one home run was hit at GABP in wind of 15 mph or greater. It just doesn't get that windy at game time there...
The Reds need to gamble a little and put the truck where it can be reached (check where the Royals have a truck in LCF).
Update [2008-3-26 13:19:51 by boobs]: Here's a link to a photo of what he's talking about. (Thanks again to C. Trent for the pic.)
So what if someone hits it, it's not that expensive, and will draw lots of interest. As it is, no one's going to think twice about it, it might as well be on the moon...
Let me know if you want some more details on this, and I am more than happy to be quoted as saying this is not going to happen, or more words to that effect. If the Reds want to move it, I'd be glad to help them figure out the odds, I have consulted on a couple new ballpark designs where I helped analyze fence heights based on home run data...
Let me remind you that Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr. are lefties. They are never, ever, going to hit the ball 550 feet to center field.
Greg added this in another e-mail:
Oh, forgot to say, the wind-aided (i.e. the all but impossible) homer would fly 551 feet, if it made it back to field level. The non-wind-aided one (i.e. the totally impossible one) would fly 541 feet. And since April 2006, no one has cleared 500 feet according to Hit Tracker, and the ones that got past 490 were wind or altitude aided...
Bummer, looks like the truck will just grow old up there...
Let me repeat that: This home run would have to fly at the very least 541 feet, which hasn't been approached in any ballpark in the time that Hit Tracker has been in operation. That time: the past two and a half years, or the past 5,000+ games.
Bottom line, this thing is never going to happen. This is nothing more than a big red billboard in center field, and I hope everyone knows it. If the Reds move it to a more plausible location, then so be it, but as it sits, no one is ever going to win a Toyota Tundra from Great American Ball Park brought to you by Toyota.
Final note: I'm going to e-mail some people about this (the Reds, Toyota, etc.) I think a few of them will get back to me, and I'll let you know how they respond. --Rick
Update [2008-3-26 13:32:3 by boobs]: I just heard back from a representative of the Reds. Here's what she had to say:
Thank you for your email. I will make sure it gets passed on to the appropriate people. While we recognize that the truck is hard/impossible to hit, please know that we will be giving away the truck at the end of the season to a lucky Reds fan.
Update [2008-3-26 13:14:31 by boobs]: Thanks to C. Trent for picking up on this. You can check out his post at http://1530homer.com/pages/ctrent.html Sorry, no permalink.
Update [2008-3-26 16:43:12 by boobs]: Thanks also to Will at Deadspin for his post on the subject. As he claims, "If anyone at Yankee Stadium this year hits a home run that goes through our apartment window, we will give one lucky fan $500 and a package of leftover Peeps from Easter. Also: We will sell our soul to Satan." I'm willing to chip in to the pot. If anyone from any team hits the truck during a game where it sits today, I will give one lucky Red Reporter my car, a 2004 Honda Civic with 37,000 miles and a sunroof.
Update No. 5: A small update... received word back from Toyota, although they didn't really say anything. Here's the e-mail:
Toyota is sensitive to the opinions of our customers, and we respect your position on this issue. We have documented your comments accordingly.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to receive your feedback such that we may improve our advertising and marketing efforts.
Your email has been documented at our National Headquarters under file #200803280023 and is available for management review. If we can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact us.