You Will Never, Ever Forget These Ball Players

Editor/Collegiate Baseball

TUCSON, Ariz. — Over the course of covering college baseball the last 48 years, I have come across some of the most unique people you could ever imagine.

Here are four of my favorites.

Pitcher Jason Haynie
South Carolina

Ever hear of a pitcher who performs a fire-breathing as well as fire-eating act?

From 1993-1996, Jason Haynie of the University of South Carolina  came on the scene and was not only an incredible pitcher for the Gamecocks but a diverse entertainer who also juggled and performed sleight of hand.

His fire act always brought down the house which he performed at numerous hotels.

“Fire eating is when you take a stick on fire and bring it inside your mouth to put out the flame,” explained Haynie during the 1994 interview with Collegiate Baseball.

“Fire breathing is different. You take charcoal lighter fluid and pour it in your mouth. You have a torch in front of your mouth and spit out the lighter fluid as far as you can. The flames have erupted outward as far as 10 feet with a huge ball of fire.”

Haynie, who stressed people should not try fire eating or breathing unless they are well trained, said that butane is the fuel of choice when fire eating.

“The reason you use butane is that the fuel is the only thing that burns. I usually pour butane on a wire hanger wrapped with gauze and tied on with dental floss. I light it on fire, and then touch my tongue with the butane-coated gauze. My tongue is momentarily on fire, but it goes out very quickly. Before the butane burns off my tongue, another torch is lit by my tongue. People come away impressed with part of the act.

Haynie said his mouth was never coated with anything special to prevent the fire from scorching it.

His fire act was extremely dangerous to perform.

“You should never breathe in while you are fire eating because you might damage your lungs. The butane may run down your throat into your lungs, and then you would be in trouble.”

He injured himself while a photographer was shooting him and two other players for the back cover of the 1994 South Carolina media guide.

“I was fire breathing and spit out lighter fluid as usual into a torch of fire. This big ball of fire came out.

“But because it was a windy day, my left eye lash caught on fire.”

To read more of this story about three other incredible baseball players, purchase the Sept. 3, 2021 edition or subscribe by CLICKING HERE. The trio of baseball players include David Stevens (Wickenburg H.S., AZ) who played the game with no legs, Jamie Bluma (Wichita St.) who was the wildest free spirit the game ever saw who once licked bugs off the grill of the team bus and Bryant Winslow (Wichita St.) who played at the College World Series with a broken leg.