"Nobody had ever hit the ball out of the left side of Griffith Stadium, so I decided to go out into the neighborhood behind the fence," Patterson recalled. "I found a youngster with the ball, asked him where it had landed, and paced off that distance to the fence. We knew how far the wall was from the plate, so we could announce that it was 565 feet. Mickey was absolutely the strongest player I ever saw."
Patterson would apply the newly created "tape measure" to other homers in other places, the distances often raising skeptical eyebrows but also creating headlines and conversation, as did many of his other contributions.
Patterson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers as their publicity director in 1954, came West with the team in 1958 and later became vice president of public relations and promotions.
It is estimated that he made 300 speeches a year on behalf of the club, often three a day, seven a week. His promotions, including a Straight 'A' Night for students, were copied throughout baseball and helped the Dodgers become baseball's attendance leaders on an almost annual basis.