Ever seen a center-field fence 471 feet away from home plate?

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:

You never know what’s going to happen in a baseball game, but I knew one thing for sure before the Analy baseball team played Miramonte in the North Coast Section Division III semifinals on Tuesday in Orinda: No one was going to hit a home run over the center-field fence.

The baseball diamond at Miramonte has fences down the right- and left-field lines, but those fences don’t join until they connect 471 feet from home plate. When the fences join, they actually form the backstop for an adjacent softball diamond, which shares center field with the baseball diamond. Is this making sense?

Anyway, the result is that a straightaway homer to center field would require someone, maybe Mickey Mantle in his prime, maybe a super hero, to launch a shot at least 500 feet, considering the ball would still have to clear the backstop, which is perhaps 20 feet high.