Joe Sprinz

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Joseph Conrad "Mule" Sprinz (August 3, 1902 – January 11, 1994) was a Major League Baseball catcher who played for three seasons. He played for the Cleveland Indians from 1930 to 1931 and the St. Louis Cardinals in 1933.

As a member of the San Francisco Ball Club, Sprinz attempted to beat the World Record for catching a baseball dropped from a great height, set by members of the 1938 Cleveland Indians. In 1939, Sprinz had a blimp hover overhead at 800 feet (240 m), from which balls were to be dropped for him to catch. On his fifth attempt, a baseball entered his glove at what could be estimated to be up to 154 miles per hour (248 km/h). It slammed his glove hand into his face with such force that he broke his upper jaw in twelve places, fractured five of his teeth, and was rendered unconscious. He also dropped the ball.[1]

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  1. ^ Fundamentals of Physics ( 4 ed., Wiley, 1993 ), by David Halliday, Robert Resnick and Jearl Walker, on page 30, Chapter Two, "Motion along a Straight Line"