Savannah Sand Gnats to host heated promotion

Fri, Aug 6

It's no secret that minor league baseball promotions are among the most creative in sports. The Fort Myers Miracle served waffles at their concession stands after Billy Donovan took the Orlando Magic job and backed out a day later. The West Virginia Power, in an ode to indoor plumbing, mashed up brownies to make them look like ... well, surely I don't have to spell that one out.

Ted Batchelor Do not try this at home, kiddos. Seriously, don't try this at home.

All that seems tame compared with what the Class A Savannah Sand Gnats have cooked up for next weekend's game against the Kannapolis Intimidators.

That's when the Sand Gnats will let one fan light another man on fire -- and then the entire crowd will watch the engulfed one run the bases.

Was dropping a man in a shark tank too messy?

Did pushing a man into a pit of cobras seem over the top?

The man on fire, though, is Ted Batchelor, who holds the Guinness world record for being on fire the longest -- a full 2 minutes, 57 seconds. Also, Batchelor and 16 members of his crew own the record for "most people on fire simultaneously."

Who needs Thunderstix or vuvuzelas when you have this kind of entertainment?

Sand Gnats president John Katz said: "Instead of having our promotions crew do the cha-cha slide between the game and the fireworks, we're going to light a match and make some memories. Some really, really cool memories."

Either that or some third-degree burns.