July 06, 2011
Going to a ballpark and seeing baseballs fly over the wall is a pretty normal occurrence.
But have you ever seen a human being fly completely over a wall and land safely into a net? Here's a view of David "Cannonball" Smith turning himself into a "human home run" between games of a minor league doubleheader between the Lowell Spinners and Connecticut Tigers on Tuesday.
It might be ... it could be ... it is!
While it might not be the most famous cannonball in baseball history — not as long as Ham from The Sandlot lives on — let's take advantage of baseball's replay policy on home runs to watch another view of Smith, a former schoolteacher who is 69 years young:
Now, some of you might be wondering how Smith knew he wouldn't come up short, crash into the wall and turn himself into the most colorful billboard at Lowell's LeLacheur Park. But Smith and his son David "Bullet" Smith Jr. are well-known human cannonballs who travel the country and world performing similar stunts. They know that their 35-foot-long cannon has more than just warning track power.
Also, this was Smith's second career "home run," having once performed the stunt at a San Diego Padres game. (A home run at spacious Petco Park? Impressive.)
[Smith] estimated last night's distance at 150 feet, and he landed perfectly into a net stretched out behind the right-field fence.
"It's fun," he said. "You're up quite a ways, and it really seems slow to me. I've got a lot of time up there." [...]
He was asked if LeLacheur Park presented any particular logistical problems. If he overshot the net, he could have plunged into the Merrimack River, which flows past the ballpark.
"I checked that out before I signed up for this date," he said with a chuckle.
Big BLS H/N: Larry Brown Sports
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