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GRAND CANYON VILLAGE, Ariz. — October has provided all sorts of iconic baseball moments over the past few decades; however, Grand Canyon National Park rangers say an incident at the park over the weekend was not one of them.
Park officials said Thursday they've identified a man who they say hit a baseball into the Grand Canyon Sunday and are "in contact with the involved individual." His name was not released. The announcement came after rangers posted to social media Wednesday, asking for the public's help to identify him.
The incident happened shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday near the Yavapai Geology Museum on the South Rim of the canyon. Two images posted by the national park shows a man in a blue shirt swinging at a baseball on a tee near the ledge of the South Rim, launching the ball into the wide geological abyss.
Officials said Thursday there were "no further details" available about the incident. It wasn't clear if the man was facing any criminal charges or fines related to it.
Some questioned on the social media posts as to why the park rangers sought out the man.
"Burning, burying or leaving trash" is listed as prohibited in the park. Per the park's safety page, visitors are also told to "never throw rocks, coins, trash or anything else over the edge" of the canyon.
The park published a video to explain why they say it's important to not throw objects into the canyon from above. The video centers on how throwing a small rock, one smaller than a baseball, can be dangerous.
"A small rock falling thousands of feet can really injure hikers or wildlife. Plus, if it doesn't hit someone or something, it can knock other rocks loose and cause a rock slide," a ranger in the video says. "The canyon is one vertical mile deep and eroded in such a way that your rock would never reach the bottom."
Other park safety guidelines include:
- Stay on designated trails and walkways. Always keep a safe distance if at least 6 feet from the edge of the rim.
- Do not climb over any railing or fence.
- Keep an eye on all of the people in your group, especially small children.
- Know where the edge is. Watch foot placement and look for trip hazards.
- Do not run, jump or perform physical stunts when near the rim.
- Do not back up without first looking where you are going.