For those who are not very fond of heights — like me, for example — this video make will you feel a little queasy, but it's still pretty cool.
Prior to the Rays 7-2 loss to the Royals at Tropicana Field on Friday night, a group of Army Rangers climbed up to the catwalks and then rappeled 220 feet down on to the field where they delivered the game ball. Yes, you read that correctly: Four Rangers executed a 220-foot straight drop, which may not sound like much when thought of in baseball terms, but all one has to do is view the footage for a better perspective of just how truly far that is.
Also, as you'll hear described, 220 feet is a much longer straight drop than those involved are used to. Typically, when they rappel from such a distance they're on the side of mountain or a building — like Brian Cashman and Bobby Valentine have done — where they're able to make contact with something solid to help guide them. Here, they were not afforded that luxury, and it left the same uneasy feeling in their stomachs that I get from simply watching.
Once composed and secured in their harness, the Rangers stepped off the catwalks and dangled above the field for five minutes as they awaited their cue to descend. Personally, I can't imagine five longer minutes, but once they got started the ride down was a smooth one that definitely provided a cool visual while offering those in attendance a firsthand look at their bravery and superior technique.
Very impressive on their part, and a pat on the back should go to the Rays for inviting them and allowing them to showcase their skills.