Did Babe Ruth’s legendary 1919 Tampa home run really go 587 feet?

According to the MLB website, in Tampa, four sportswriters borrowed a tape measure to determine the distance from home plate to a pile of rocks placed by a stadium guard who witnessed the ball landing. The measurement they got was an impressive 552-8, making it a truly remarkable hit.

The previous year, during the Red Sox spring training in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Babe Ruth hit a ball out of Whittington Park, now a parking lot, and into a pond at the Arkansas Alligator Farm, which still exists. The pond’s location made it possible to measure the distance 93 years later in 2011, which engineers calculated to be 573 feet. The outline of home plate’s location is marked in the parking lot, and there’s a sign in the alligator farm, along with a historical marker nearby. It’s also believed that Babe hit another ball even farther out of Whittington Park a week later, but there’s no record of the distance.