Heading into play on June 26, 2002, Mo Vaughn, whom the Mets had acquired the previous offseason for Kevin Appier, was hitting just .230/.327/.327. The trade for Vaughn, who had missed all of 2001 with the Angels due to injury, was preceded by a now-infamous visit by Mets brass to Vaughn's home in Connecticut. During that visit, GM Steve Phillips was reportedly persuaded to deal for Vaughn after an apparently impressive hitting display — off of a tee.
None of that mattered, for at least a few moments, on the night of June 26. Vaughn, having homered earlier in the game against Tom Glavine, stood at the plate against Braves reliever Kevin Gryboski and on an 0-1 count hit one of the longest home runs in Shea Stadium history. The ball struck the giant Budweiser sign, a spot about three-quarters of the way up the gigantic right-center-field scoreboard, an estimated 505 feet from home plate.
Most fans on hand for the blast will have forgotten that the Mets lost the game, 6-3, but the memory of Vaughn's majestic home run have hardly faded.