Is this Wave a World Record?


On a pleasant April day in 1953, a soft-spoken, 21-year-old New York Yankee named Mickey Mantle took the plate against Washington Senators’ home-team pitcher Chuck Stobbs. With two men out and Yogi Berra leading off first base, Stobbs slung a chest-high fastball. Mantle gave a mighty swing and sent the ball soaring into a 20-knot tailwind. It was a clear home run—the longest ever in the small stadium. Yet on its downward arc, after traveling 460 linear feet over the heads of slack-jawed fans, the ball ricocheted off a billboard for National Bohemian Beer and bounced clear out of Clark Griffith Stadium. Smelling a big story, the Yankees’ enterprising PR agent went to find the ball in the street. When he returned, he reported that the ball had traveled an additional 105 feet. It was a front-page story in the next day’s New York Daily News. The news spread around the world like wildfire.

It was an epic blast, but was it really 565 feet? And what about that extra bounce off the sign? In the end it didn’t really matter. The PR agent’s story stuck. Mickey Mantle had set the first of a lifetime of world records.


3 years ago

This was a pretty big wave, too. Still makes me chuckle.

3 years ago

If not the biggest, it's definitely in my top 5.

3 years ago

I think GMAC gave the guy a FS massage in his monster truck in the parking lot at the turtle bay hilton to "help" him write that story. Then of course a special and lasting friendship was created on the north shore.

3 years ago

"Waiting around in remote locations for something radical to happen is a large part of how he makes a living."

3 years ago

wake me up, when its over.

3 years ago

First, he didn't surf the wave. He ski'd it. So it certainly shouldn't be considered a surfing record. Second, the wave is 70 feet, 80 tops. I could be wrong though. Nothing personal against the guy or his big balls. However, he does say in the story that he didn't make any money from the filming, publicizing, and distribution of the ski session. I find that to be disingenuous. His sponsorship earnings had to have gone up a lot from this. Therefore, I also question how truthful he's being when he says he is not the one that publicized the 90ft number.

But whatevs. Awesome wave. I'm glad someone filmed regardless.

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