Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins will attempt to break a world record on Monday. Instead of taking a day off, Rollins will take part in Red Bull Ball Park Cranks in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record for longest batted ball, and he is heading to the Ben Franklin Parkway to do it.
The current record stands at 576 feet, which is far out of Rollins' normal range so he will be making use of advanced equipment to help him out.
"They have some pretty good technology put into it, so why don't I give it a try?" Rollins said in a report by USA Today. "They spent some money on composite bats and specialized balls. It's unrestricted. So we're trying to find out if you could use this ball and this bat, how far can a human possibly hit a ball."
Red Bull has called on Dr. Lloyd C. Smith from Washington State University's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Dr. Alan Nathan of the University of Illinois Physics Department, both of whom have experience testing bats for little leagues and college-level teams.
“I’ve hit a ball below the third deck at the Vet. I’ve gone to the second deck a number of times at [Citizens Bank Park] and I’ve gone out to center field. So 420 feet is probably about the furthest I’ve ever hit a ball. With technology, if you get another 160 feet out of it, that would be a lot of fun.”
"In all the years I've been in the sports science area, it's the first time we've had a professional player willing and able to test the limits of hitting a baseball," Dr. Smith said. "We're extremely excited to see what valuable information we can gather from this merging of science and sport."
This record attempt was supposed to take place a year ago, but an injury to Rollins within days forced Rollins and Red Bull to put the record attempt on hold. Now after a year of anticipation, Rollins will get his chance to go into the record books.
Fans should also be on the lookout for baseballs printed with a special digital code. Scanning the image in your phone will reveal if you found a winning baseball, giving fans a Rollins autograph and more.
Date: June 27, 2011
Time: 11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Intersection of 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA