How Many Baseballs Can You Hold In One Hand?

How Many Baseballs Can You Hold In One Hand

Baseball players, especially pitchers, are known for holding many baseballs in one hand, similar to how basketball players are known for being able to palm a basketball. Here, we will explain how many baseballs are feasibly held in one hand and who has set records for most baseballs held.

Size of a Baseball


A baseball used in the MLB measures 9 to 9.25 inches in circumference, 2.86 to 2.94 inches in diameter, and weighs 5 to 5.25 ounces. The average size of a human hand is 7.6 inches, measured from the tip of the fingers to the base of the palm. The average breadth of a human hand is 3.6 inches. The average circumference of a human hand is 8.6 inches. 

Calculating the surface area of a human hand with those specs yields an area of 27.36 inches squared, meaning that the average human hand should be able to hold about nine baseballs, not including the circumference or depth of the baseball. In that case, the number would be slightly smaller.

Guinness World Record For Most Baseballs Held in One Hand

The Guinness Book of World Records tracks thousands of records across the world. Two of these records are for the number of baseballs held in one hand, separated by having the palm facing upward or downward. While other players may have held more baseballs in one hand, these are the records officially recognized by Guinness.

Palm Down

Justin Preckajlo and Ethan Martinez set a Guinness World record by holding seven baseballs in one hand with the palm down on October 10th and 13th, 2018, respectively. They both beat the previous record of six baseballs in one hand and now share the record. Ethan is from Walnut, California, and Justin is from Jacksonville, Florida.

Palm Up

Brian Pankey, from Springhill, Illinois, holds the record for most baseballs held in one hand with the palm up at 10.

How Many Baseballs Can Baseball Players Hold in One Hand?

Most baseball players can hold six or seven baseballs in one hand. Johnny Bench, a former player of the Cincinnati Reds from 1967-1983, issued a challenge on social media in 2021 to see if anybody could hold seven baseballs in one hand. Bench is a Hall of Famer who could easily hold seven in one hand. Many people did not believe him, and he even received a letter claiming that there was no way he could hold seven baseballs in one hand. Bench then Tweeted a famous photo of himself holding seven baseballs in one hand and the letter in the other hand, inviting others to try the challenge.

While Bench is the most famous baseball player for holding seven baseballs in one hand, many others can match or surpass this feat. For example, JR Richard (a former player for the Astros) once held eight baseballs in one hand and documented his accomplishment with a photo. There is also a picture of Jim Bibby, another former pitcher, holding eight baseballs in one hand. Other famous baseball players have matched Bench’s seven baseballs as well, such as Randy Johnson, Al Leiter, and Ernie Lombardi.