The longest verifiable home run in professional baseball history was hit by Joey Meyer of the minor league Denver Zephyrs at a distance of 582 feet. Shane Wighton, an engineer known on YouTube for his sport-cheating inventions including a never-miss basketball hoop, things he can break that record with a baseball bat literally packed with explosives.
You probably immediately picture a hollowed out baseball bat with a lit piece of dynamite sticking out of the end, but Wighton used his engineering skills to design and build a much safer solution than that. His bat—a custom creation carved from a slab of pine on a milling machine, features a steel piston mechanism on the end powered by .27-caliber blank bullets. When an incoming ball (or one sitting on a tee) makes contact with the end of the piston it compresses it, triggering the blanks inside which explode and force the piston back out again, propelling the ball.
The design means the bat has a very specific sweet spot a ball has to hit in order to trigger the explosive piston, but when it makes contact, even a gentle swing can launch a ball to the farthest reaches of a diamond’s outfield. The piston is designed to hold three .27-caliber blanks, but so far Wighton has only tested it with two, which still managed to propel a ball an impressive 350 feet.
Wighton believes that with three .27-caliber blanks he’ll be able to beat the 582 foot world record, but after some preliminary testing he also believes the explosion will destroy the bat—at least with its current design—and leave it in splinters. He’s also not sure a regulation baseball could survive the impact, as testing shows the piston splitting a ball wide open. After watching the video let’s hope Wighton takes this experiment to its logical conclusion, but only if he finds a safe way to shatter the home run record.