Several warning signs on the Grand Canyon.

Man witnessed hitting baseball in Grand Canyon

A man has sparked concern and speculation online after he was seen hitting a baseball Grand Canyon.

The incident, which was first reported by Fox10 on Wednesday, came after National Park Service (NPS) sent an appeal for information via the Grand Canyon National Park Facebook page.

According to the post, a man was “observed hitting a baseball bat with a baseball bat into the Grand Canyon near the Yavapai Geology Museum on the South Rim.”

The incident happened around 15.45 on Sunday 17 October. Newsweek has since unveiled a video of the man hitting baseball, which was uploaded to TikTok by discipleships.

The original poster has said that he does not know the man and was only a spectator. His video can be seen here:

Following the initial call for information, NPS officials updated the post to confirm that they had been in contact with the “person involved”, and no further details were available at this time.

Newsweek has contacted NPS for comment.

Although the incident itself seems to be resolved, the debate continues to swirl on social media around the man’s actions.

At the time of writing, the NPS Facebook post asking for help had been shared over 1,800 times and generated 2,100 comments in the process.

A handful of commentators seemed eager to either ape or record the man’s actions.

Ty Lee O’Daniel said he “totally did this” while Mitch Capps thought it was “not that big of a deal.” Capps came in for harsh criticism of his remark to Diana Victoria, who described his “ignorance” as “astonishing”.

“Another white guy doing something stupid,” wrote Norma Dupris.

Hanna Schmitz was among those who expressed concern about the man’s actions and the effect they could have on the “people going down” who could have ended up having their heads “split” by the baseball.

Warren Meyer agreed and wrote: “Such people make me angry” that Rafa El stamps the incident: “self-involved right at its highest.”

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Praveen Krishnan, meanwhile, marked the tragic death of Pete Absolon, who was killed after being hit by a stone thrown by a group of hikers above.

An expert climber and father of one, Absolon, 47, was Rocky Mountain director of the National Outdoor Leadership School. He was killed in 2007 when hiker Luke Rodolph dropped a piece of granite into a bowling alley in a pool in the Grand Canyon when he wanted to see the descent. Unbeknownst to him, Absolon and another climber were 300 feet below. The stone hit Absolon in the head and killed him instantly.

Despite the largely negative response to the post, there were a handful of posters that tried to contextualize the man’s actions, pointing to a message on the t-shirt shown in the photo that came with the appeal, which suggested a possible reason for his actions.

The Dakota R Beavers urged everyone not to “jump to conclusions” and noted that the “RIP shirt” the man was wearing may be related to a recently deceased friend, and they may have scattered the ashes instead of hitting a baseball.

Justin L Jones agreed and theorized that the man “most likely fulfilled one last wish for a late friend.”

While the message on the man’s blue t-shirt is not completely visible, the words “Johnny” and “RIP” are both evident in the photos shared by the park authorities.

The incident comes a month from the discovery of a body later revealed to be the remains of a man believed to have been missing since 2015.

Scott Walsh’s remains were discovered during an air search in the park.

A place of stunning natural beauty, the Grand Canyon still poses a number of dangers for hikers and those eager to explore the layered bands of red rock.

Back in July, one woman was hospitalized and three other hikers were injured during a lightning storm that stormed the Grand Canyon National Park.

The 28-year-old woman was originally found unanswered on the spot, but regained her pulse after receiving life-saving CPR treatment.

More warning signs on the Grand Canyon.
Archive image of a series of warning signs along the Grand Canyon. A man was filmed hitting a baseball into the Grand Canyon in an event that sparked debate.
Kirsten Dunlap / Getty

UPDATE10 / 2121, 6:55 ET: This article was updated with a new image.

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