Tuesday morning Major League Baseball made a significant announcement that they have approved a protective cap for pitchers to wear during all games this season. This marks the first time that the MLB has done something to protect the pitchers.
MLB approved the cap manufactured by IsoBlox who say the cap can protect a pitchers head from a ball hit up to 85mph. The hats are different than the standard New Era cap that players currently wear. According to IsoBlox the cap is a half inch thicker on the front, and one inch thicker over the temples weighs seven ounces more than the standard cap.
Many pitchers likely won’t be wearing the cap because it feels different and many believe that it will distract them from pitching. Brandon McCarthy a pitcher who has been hit in the head by a line said he would not wear one. Keep in mind after being hit in the head McCarthy had to undergo a 2 hour surgery to relieve pressure around his brain, he also had an epidural hemorrhage, skull fracture and brain contusion.
Major League Baseball can do all they want to protect players but in the end it is the players that have to protect themselves. The chances of getting hit by a line drive as a pitcher is virtually none, literally it is less than .0001%. But in the rare chance it does happen wouldn’t you want to be protected? Line drives can kill people, ask the Coolbaugh family. Mike Coolbaugh a minor league first base coach was killed by a line drive in 2007, following his death baseball implemented a rule that requires base coaches to wear helmets. A move that should be applauded.
The option to finally wear head protection as a pitcher has undoubtedly been met with some criticism. While the veterans likely won’t adopt it watch for the younger guys to try it out. Baseball finally did something for the players, for that they should be commended.