In the sport that is baseball, there is no position more dangerous than that of the pitcher.
It was announced on Tuesday that a MLB-approved cap that is heavier and bigger will be available for pitchers to use during this upcoming season. The cap is designed to absorb and distribute the force of a ball to the head of up to 90 miles per hour. MLB has stated that pitchers are not required to wear the hats, but that it is available for those that would like to take the extra step to protect themselves.
Over the past several seasons, the injuries that have afflicted pitchers as a result of getting hit in the head from line drives have become increasingly more tragic. Several players that know what it is like to get hit by a line drive while on the mound are Brandon McCarthy of the Arizona Diamondbacks, J.A. Happ of the Toronto Blue Jays and Doug Fister of the Washington Nationals. These players suffered severe head injuries that almost cost them their careers, especially McCarthy.
Since recovering from his major head injury, McCarthy has been working hand in hand with both MLB and 4Licensing Corporation subsidiary isoBlox to develop a cap that would help protect pitchers from taking severe hits like he and many others have taken. Even after all of his hard work to help these two companies work to create this product, McCarthy says he will not be wearing it anytime soon.
Whether players decide to go for this new and “safe” option will be primarily up to them. The cap will be available for testing during Spring Training so players who would like to see how it affects their throwing motion and overall performance can try it out before the regular season starts.
It is nice to see the league take action on an issue that has obviously been growing over the past several seasons. It will be interesting to see how many players actually decide to wear these new caps.