SAVANNAH, GA -The Savannah Sand Gnats and Guinness World Record holder Ted Batchelor executed a first-ever stunt Saturday night at Historic Grayson Stadium when Batchelor circled the bases while lit aflame after the Gnats' 8-2 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators. Chris Corey, of Savannah, GA lit Batchelor, who was holding a bat that had been autographed by the entire Sand Gnats team, on fire at home plate. Batchelor dropped the bat, and then took off around the bases, finishing with a headfirst dive into home plate.
For Batchelor, this stunt was a long time coming. "This stunt was something I've wanted to do since 1977. I'm very thankful to the Sand Gnats and this whole organization," he said afterwards. "It was a magical thing to come out of the dugout and grab a bat and go to home plate. It was very strange to see both clubs out there watching. It was cool to watch these minor leaguers watching me. As a baseball fan, I'm in awe of their talent." The experienced stuntman was pleased with the stunt itself as well, saying "It felt great."
Gnats team President John Katz was jubilant, "That might just have been the coolest thing I've ever seen at a baseball field, bar none."
Fans aged 18 and older signed up to be randomly selected to light Batchelor on fire. Corey had no idea a baseball game on a Saturday night with friends would turn into something else. The experience, he said after lighting Batchelor was "completely overwhelming, and certainly not expected, it happened so fast." It was, he said, "very, very cool to be associated with something like that."
Batchelor, 51, owns the Guinness World Record for the "Longest full-body burn without supplied oxygen" at 2 minutes, 57 seconds, set in Rome, Italy on February 25th, 2010. He and his crew also set the World Record for the "most people on fire simultaneously" at 17, on Pizak Farm in South Russell, OH, on September 20, 2009.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.