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Hamilton blasts historic home run

ARLINGTON, Texas -- After further scientific review, Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton now heads the franchise's record books for the longest home run hit in the history of Rangers Ballpark.

The estimated 468-foot blast Hamilton launched into the upper deck of the right-field porch last Sunday against Houston Astros ace Roy Oswalt will go down as a 490-foot homer, surpassing Jose Canseco's 480-foot home run in 1994, the ballpark's inaugural season.

The Rangers brought in University of Texas at Arlington physics professor Andrew Brandt after HitTrackerOnline.com, a baseball website that tracks how far home runs travel, pegged Hamilton's homer at 485 feet.

Brandt looked into the discrepancy with the help of the Rangers, the operator of HitTrackerOnline.com and Alan Nathan, a physics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Chicago.

Brandt explained why, after a process based on a complex set of variables, the final distance of Hamilton's home run was increased by 22 feet.

"A lot of the other distances of home runs, they consider where you hit it to where it reaches the ground, "Brandt said. "When you add on that extra distance from the upper deck down to the ground, that gives you an extra 25 or so feet. That's putting you in record kind of territory."

Hamilton, in just his third season with the Rangers, now holds the record for the longest home run and third-longest (460 feet vs. Seattle on May, 15, 2009) in the ballpark's history.

"This is cool, man," Hamilton said. "I'm glad the Rangers did this. I'm excited to hold the longest home run in the park."
And, perhaps, rightly so.

After the game in which Hamilton hit the homer, he joked that Canseco's record shot should have an asterisk. Hamilton was obviously referring to Canseco's admitted steroids use while with the Rangers.

"I'm au natural, man," Hamilton said with a wide grin.

Jeff Caplan covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter.