New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle belted 536 baseballs over the fence throughout his big league career. And though we're not sure how Josh Allen would fare as an MLB player, we do know that he's one of the few quarterbacks the league has to offer that could throw a football over the fence from home plate.
Allen's arm is certainly a lot stronger than that segue from Mickey Mantle to the Bills quarterback was, but that's beside the point.
What is important is that Allen has used a trick related to the Mick as he's grown into the fearsome, MVP-caliber passer that he is today. He shared that insight, originally gained from Tony Romo, with us on the "Chris Simms Unbuttoned" podcast ahead of his exciting divisional clash with the Baltimore Ravens.
"I talked to Tony Romo at the Super Bowl last year and just talked about a guy by the name of Mickey Mantle, I believe, a baseball player and one of the greatest players of all time," Allen explained. "The way that he was able to bat at such a high average, he figured out how to keep his bat in the zone the longest... and trying to keep that bat in the range or the area of the ball as long as possible in order to create a higher percentage of contact.
"So, in my mind, I kind of twisted that and was able to find out (how) to keep my arm in the area as long as possible in order to get the ball there and not trying to create this little, literally this vertical angle that I was throwing on last year, and causing the ball to dive and sail because my release point was at such different points."
Allen further explained that he goes so far as to visualize that strike zone, and if his hand ends up in that metaphorical "strike zone" when he's done with the throw, he feels he's more consistent and accurate with his passes.
To be honest, I would have expected Allen's MLB influence, if any, to be a guy like Ichiro or Vladimir Guerrero. You know, the ones who would hose base runners from ridiculous distances by deploying their freakish cannons, similarly to how Allen can flick his wrist and cause the pigskin to soar 60 yards through the air.
Based on Allen's explanation, though, the trick actually seems really insightful and sound. It wasn't the only work that Allen put in throughout the buildup to the 2020 season, either.
"Going into this offseason I got my mechanics kind of digitally mapped by a little company called Biometrics, and they were able to kind of pinpoint what was firing in your motion the right way and how it was supposed to fire, and just trying to find little deficiencies in your mechanics," Allen said. "And I found out, basically, my arm was beating my hips to the release of the ball, which you know isn't a great thing.
"So, trying to change that, trying to make sure that my hips are firing first. Kind of incorporating the little (Aaron) Rodgers pop in my left foot, that's been a huge key and huge help for me... I feel like I'm at a point right now where I don't miss too often, and when I do miss, I understand what happened and why I missed."
And that, football fans, is a good place to be. It's probably why Allen is in the top five in the entire NFL in passing yards (4,544), passing touchdowns (37) and passer rating (107.2) to go along with his potent rushing abilities. And it's probably why the Bills are having a season to remember that we haven't seen from them in a long, long time.