SOURCE: Red Bull North America

April 06, 2010 11:36 ET

Philadelphia All-Star Shortstop Jimmy Rollins Launches Balls Over Downtown Philly With Souped Up Bat

Science and Sport Meet to Go the Distance at Red Bull Ball Park Cranks, With a Guinness World Record Attempt on the Line

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - April 6, 2010) -  No ballpark in the world can hold him, so All-Star and World Series champion Jimmy Rollins will be knocking baseballs over Benjamin Franklin Parkway on Tuesday, April 13 for Red Bull Ball Park Cranks. But we're not just talking home runs here... Rollins is aiming beyond the typical stadium distance and looking to hit a massive 550-foot bomb -- or the distance of almost two football fields.

Not stopping there, Rollins will also attempt to break the current Guinness World Record for 'Longest Batted Ball,' which currently stands at 576 feet. The record is for the greatest distance one individual can hit a batted baseball in a legal manner with no restriction on equipment.

"As a kid, I've always dreamed of hitting a ball further than the eye can see. Impossible? Not with the team I have backing me. Red Bull Ball Park Cranks is a huge leap for the possibilities that lie ahead for sports, and I'm excited to be a part of it," said Jimmy Rollins.

Fusing science and sport, Rollins, along with Red Bull, is pushing the limits of the combination of a bat and ball. Forming a partnership with two esteemed university sports science and physics professors and using state-of-the-art equipment, Rollins will be able to reach his full power-hitting potential. Testing the weight of the ball, the speed of the bat, measuring air resistance and bat manipulation are just some of the factors that will be put into play for this aerodynamic feat.

Popular Science Magazine, the nation's largest publication of science and technology news, has also thrown their support behind Red Bull Ball Park Cranks. Jake Ward, deputy editor, states: "In effect, the bats and balls that professional players use haven't changed since the 1950s. This is a rare opportunity to see what happens when you throw the latest technology into the mix. The team on this project has done an impressive job determining the exact factors necessary to make the impossible become reality. We've got a world-class athlete using tools developed by brilliant sports scientists, so I think we're in for a record-setting day."

Dr. Lloyd V. Smith of the Washington State University School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering and Dr. Alan Nathan of the University of Illinois Physics Department both have over 10 years in the sports science industry. They have been testing bats for little leagues and college-level teams but have never had the opportunity to push the regulation limits or had a player of Jimmy Rollins' stature involved and excited.

"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. We're extremely excited to see what valuable information we can gather from this merging of science and sport," said Dr. Lloyd V. Smith.

Red Bull Ball Park Cranks is providing the freedom to both the professors and Jimmy Rollins to push the limits of sport and see how far a ball, hit by a bat, can go. The Philadelphia Museum of Art will be the backdrop as Benjamin Franklin Parkway is shut down from noon to two in the afternoon. Rollins is encouraging his fellow Philadelphians to stop by to witness the science, the technology, the talent, the strength, or to just see their favorite professional athlete really hit it out of the park... and over a highway.

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