It took him longer than he wanted, but when Giancarlo Stanton finally belted his first home run of the season Saturday night he really got into it.
The first inning blast off Cubs left-hander Travis Wood soared over the left field video scoreboard and only stayed inside Marlins Park because it bounced off the sliding glass doors behind it. The ball traveled an eye-opening and estimated 472-feet -- third longest of his career.
“It hit the windows," Stanton said afterward. "Window damage.’’
According to ESPN's hittrackeronline.com, which keeps record of home run distances, Stanton's blast fell three feet shy of the longest in baseball this season. That record still belongs to the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo, who belted one 475-feet last week against the Rangers at Wrigley Field.
The homer was also the longest home run at Marlins Park. The previous mark was a 462-foot shot by Stanton last May 21.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum was impressed by the shot.
"“I guess if you are going to give one up, you don’t want to give up any cheapies,” Sveum said. “That’s as far as I’ve seen a ball hit. As strong as he is and getting a 3-1 fastball …”
When told that the shot was measured at 472 feet, Sveum said: “I think that’s a little bit short.”
According to hittrackeronline, Stanton's two longest career blasts have come at Coors Field. His longest home run -- and longest by anyone during the 2012 season -- was a 494-foot blast off Rockies pitcher Josh Roenicke It was 29-feet longer than anyone else in the game last season. Stanton's second longest blast traveled 474 feet at Coors back in 2011.
Could Stanton remember hitting a ball better than he did Saturday?
"That one was pretty good," he said. "Here I’ve hit a few of those foul. So it was nice to finally get it on the right side of the pole."
By hitting Saturday's home run, Stanton ended a run of 72 consecutive at-bats dating back to Oct. 1 of last season without a long ball. It was the third-longest stretch of his career without a long ball. Last season, he opened the year without hitting a home run until his 69th at-bat.
His longest career streak without a home run is a run of 97 at-bats from the end of the 2011 season (29 at-bats) to his first home run in 2012 (68-at-bats). His second-longest career streak without a home run was a span of 83 at-bats from June 11, 2011 to July 6, 2011.