Mac + 97 MPH = 538 Foot Homer

Wed, Jun 25, 1997 - SEATTLE (SCN/AP) - Now we all know what happens when Mark McGwire connects squarely on a fastball from Randy Johnson.

McGwire hit a home run that traveled an estimated 538 feet - the longest of his 356 career homers - in the fifth inning Tuesday night at Seattle, as Oakland downed the Mariners, 4-1.

McGwire's shot for Oakland on a 97 mph fastball from Johnson was the longest homer recorded in the 21-year-old Kingdome, where they began keeping track of home-run distances 10 years ago.

It was the longest home run recorded in the majors this season. Colorado's Andres Galarraga hit a homer estimated at 529 feet on May 31 at Florida.

"I hit it pretty good," McGwire deadpanned afterward. "When you're facing one of the best, and you know him pretty well as a friend, it's even more special. We've had a lot of battles –he's gotten me out, and I've gotten a few hits off him – he's just a class guy."

McGwire and Johnson were one-time teammates at USC in the 1980's.

It was an historic night for Johnson, as he racked up 19 strikeouts in taking the loss. He fell one short of Roger Clemens' major league record of 20.

McGwire's 27th homer of the season gave Oakland a 3-0 lead. His previous longest career homer was 514 feet in Detroit on April 20 over the left-field roof at Tiger Stadium.

McGwire's second career homer against Johnson was the 10th to go into the Kingdome's second deck in left field. He hit two in the same inning in Seattle on Sept. 22, 1996.

McGwire is two homers shy of Yogi Berra, who is No. 44 on the career list.

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