You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
I believe the incident Sam might have been thinking of that resulted in injury was the Guinness Book of World Records catch of a ball dropped from 800 feet from a blimp in 1939, caught by Joe Sprinz. It was supposedly traveling 154-mph* and was caught such that it "broke his upper jaw in twelve places, fractured five of his teeth and [he] was rendered unconscious". Here's a source for the story: * I'm no physicist, but this seems dubious... I would think terminal velocity would be reached sooner and so the speed wouldn't be much different than the ~100 mph estimated from the 200-300 foot plane drops. And in fact, this source suggests terminal velocity of a baseball is around 74 mph:
There it is! Update on tonight's show. Thanks!
The Phillies had a ball dropped from a helicopter in the Vet Stadium debut back in 1971. They wisely used backup catcher Mike Ryan. He caught it after a bobble. Only 150 feet though. They used to do these from City Hall in Philadelphia. Bill Giles wrote that a guy broke his wrist on one of those.