It was the bottom of the 6th inning in a blow-out at Bank One Ballpark, with the Diamondbacks already 7-0 up over the Cubs. With one out, Alex Cintron singled, and one out later, Richie Sexson strode to the plate. He had already singled twice in the game, but had also delivered the long-balls hoped for, when he had been acquired from the Brewers the previous December, in a trade that sent Chris Capuano, Craig Counsell, Chad Moeller, Lyle Overbay, Jorge De La Rosa and Junior Spivey to Milwaukee. Over his first 18 games and 71 at-bats prior to the night, Richie had already homered eight times, but it would be his ninth - and, as it turned out, final - home-run for Arizona that would be remembered.
After quickly falling behind 0-2, on a called strike and foul. Sexson worked the count full, fouling off a couple more pitches in order to stay alive. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, there was no foul: Sexson crushed the ball off his own image on the JumboTron, 410 feet from home plate and 82 feet up, with the home-run traveling a projected distance of 503 feet. That was 30 feet further than the park record at the time, which had belonged to Scott Rolen, and we also Sexson's 200th career home-run. He said, "It’s the farthest one I’ve ever hit. I’d be lying if I said anything else. I've seen Jim Thome hit some balls like that, but I never have."
Then manager, now color commentator Bob Brenly was equally impressed: "You see things in this game on occasion that you've never seen before. I think Fins (Steve Finley) said it best, he's never seen a ball get so small so fast. It seemed like it was accelerating when it hit him in the face out there on the JumboTron." The ball shattered eight cells in the screen, which cost about $360 to fix, though the team left the dark spot there for the rest of the homestand, to mark the shot. However, management did leave an invoice in Sexson's locker the next day, which itemized his bill as follows: "Cost to replace JumboTron: $2,000. 503-foot home run: Priceless. Total due: 0."
Sadly, Sexson would manage just 17 further plate-appearances as a Diamondback. A few days later, he tore his shoulder trying to hold up on a checked swing, an injury that cost him the rest of the season, and he departed as a free-agent that winter for Seattle. It would take the best part of five seasons before his home-run would be matched, Adam Dunn blasting a ball 504 feet against the Rockies, which is not only the current record-holder at Chase, it's the most recent 500-ft home run officially recognized by HitTrackerOnline.com. But it's likely Sexson's bomb which everyone remembers, and for very good reason. We may not ever see its like again.