Breaking the record

How many baseballs can you hold in your hand? Standing under the drizzling rain at Walnut Family Festival, senior Ethan Martinez broke the Guiness World Record of most baseballs held in a hand palm down.

Martinez held a total of seven baseballs in his left hand for over 28 seconds palm down, breaking the previous record of six baseballs.

“[The crowd] just started going crazy. I felt great. I’m so happy I got this record, and honestly, I’m so happy I did it on the first try. I didn’t want to drop any of them,” Martinez said.

At baseball practice three months ago, Martinez and his friends were playing with their baseball and competed to see how many baseballs each could hold in one hand. While his teammates could only hold two to four baseballs, Martinez held six with ease.

“My friends [yelled], ‘Dang, how could you do that?’ because no one else could do it,” Martinez said. “When I got home, I was like, ‘Huh, I wonder what the record is.” I found out it was six. It didn’t seem that impressive to me.”

For three weeks, Martinez practiced hand techniques and watched videos of how others gripped baseballs in their palms. He also researched methods used by Johnny Lee Bench, one of the best professional baseball catchers in the U.S who held the previous Guiness World Record for six baseballs held in one hand, palm up. During the Fall Sports Pep Rally Friday, Oct. 12, Martinez held six baseballs for the entire crowd to see.

“I was pretty excited. I was just thinking, ‘Don’t drop this. Don’t drop this.’ My hands were a little sweaty, but it’s all right. I got it done,” Martinez said.

In order to be qualify for breaking a Guinness World Record, Martinez had to submit witness reports, exact times and dates, use professional baseballs, have a qualified verifier and send an unedited video to Guiness of his feat.

“My parents were ecstatic [when I broke the record]. They played a huge part in helping me in this process. They filled out all the forms. They sent in all the applications. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t even have this record,” Martinez said.

In three days, Martinez could receive a Guiness World Record plaque for his accomplishment.

“Hopefully, I will get in the book. If my hand grows, I’ll definitely try to break [eight baseballs in one hand], but for the moment, seven is my limit.” Martinez said.

Although Martinez has no current plans to break other records, he shared some tips for prospective individuals.

“I’m just taking it one record at a time. Do the research, and make sure you can [break the record] before you announce to everyone you’re going to try,” Martinez said. “Just practice.”


By Phillip Leung, Print Production lead
Photo from @walnutprincipal