“How many world record attempts have started with a baseball mascot? Especially a bear! Axle the Bear!”
This whimsically-worded missive was sent by Atlee McHeffey, production manager for the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Axle the Bear is the team’s mascot, and the world record attempt that he started was this:
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Often, a considerable amount of time will pass between the moment something happens and the moment I write about it on this blog. This is due to my belief that time itself is an artificial construct, one that distracts us from the fundamental truth that is The Eternal Now (it has nothing to do with my questionable work ethic and general inability to prioritize).
With that said, let us travel back to July 18. History was made at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium, as a man by the name of Steve Carrier broke 30 Louisville Sluggers in 53 seconds (and would have kept going, had he not run out of bats). This broke the previous bat-breaking world record of 23 over one minute.
Montgomery marked the first time that Carrier had performed at a Minor League ballpark, but he has a lot of experience when it comes to such superhuman stunts. He tours the country giving motivational speeches, often in a religious context, and performs feats of strength as an ice-breaker and attention-getter.
Shortly after Carrier appeared in Montgomery, I gave him a call in order to find out a little more about what it is that he does, and why.
“I’m on the road 50 weeks a year with Mega Force [a ministry he founded], and will generally break 10 or 12 bats in a weekend. I’ll break them behind my back, over my neck, under my leg, and I’ll do all kinds of other cool stuff, like bend steel bars and rip license plates in half.”
When it came to establishing the bat-breaking world record, speed was as important as strength.
“The holders are key, because they’ve got to be able to pass the bats really quickly,” said Carrier. “Something like that can make all the difference, so that was something we worked on behind the scenes.”
Here’s Carrier (and his team of bat-passers) in action. He was moving so fast that not even the highest shutter speed was able to capture him clearly.
Carrier maintains that he could have broken “six or seven” more bats within the span of a minute, had they been available. And if any team wants to give him the opportunity to break his own record, he’d be up for it.
“I think this could be used to draw crowds, to advertise that a World Record holder is coming to the ballpark,” he said. “Whether I’m bending steel bars, ripping phone books, or breaking bats, it’s all good from an entertainment perspective.”
It could also result in some very unique giveaway items.
“When I’m done, I can autograph the bats and give them out as souvenirs,” he said.
This morning, my article on Minor League World Records “went live” on MiLB.com. You can check it out here. The article included some first-hand observations from the Wilmington Blue Rocks’ “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” world record attempt, but there’s much more where that came from.
The following video, put together by my friend and occasional NYC comedy collaborator Jake Goldman, documents our evening in Wilmington:
I think the video came out well (Jake did a great job of putting it together) but there is plenty of room for improvement. I am making this all up as I go along, in terms of how these Minor League trips are planned, funded, and documented, so bear with me here. I appreciate any and all feedback, just keep in mind that I will always be my own worst critic (so, yeah, I am more than aware of my sloppy appearance and mumbly-mouthed speech patterns).
There’s nothing I can to do except to keep trying, so I’ll get out to the ballparks as often as time and money allows. I appreciate all the invitations and hospitality that have been extended thus far…it is my ultimate goal to create a nationwide network of friends, acquaintances, fans, and mentors, and to never have to pay for a hotel room. Paying for things is for suckers.