Mt. Vernon Register-News

Z_CNHI News Service

February 6, 2014

Padded caps may be unpopular but pitchers will eventually accept them

The year was 1957 when Cleveland left-hander Herb Score was pitching to the Yankees’ Gil McDougald. A line drive rocketed back at the Indians pitcher and struck him in the head.

Score, who was only 23, slumped to the ground. Blood poured from his face. For a moment, he thought his eye had popped out of its socket. It hadn’t, but it was still a scary scene.

If you saw it, you’d undoubtedly like to forget that moment but probably never will.

Score never was the same. He said it wasn’t the line drive that knocked him out of baseball but a recurring arm problem. Many of those who had marveled at his sinking fastball disagreed.

A pitcher getting hit by a baseball traveling 85 to 100 mph may happen infrequently, but when it does the injury is serious. In 2012, Brandon McCarthy sustained a skull fracture and brain contusion while pitching for the Oakland A’s and required surgery. A year later, Toronto’s J.A. Happ and Tampa Bay’s Alex Cobb were both hit and sidelined.

Safety is a constant worry for baseball executives. To their credit, it draws ongoing study and debate. When pitchers arrive at spring training this month, besides the normal uniform, they’ll be offered a padded cap with more, if not complete, protection for their heads.

Initial reactions from the pros are mixed. Athletes like the idea of safer equipment – no one must be convinced of the perils of the profession – but the protective cap has negative features. It's heavier and thicker. Besides being uncomfortable, those who’ve worn it are certain they’ll be hotter. Pitchers say they’ll try the custom-fitted caps during the exhibition season, then in all likelihood send them back to the lab to be refined.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.
     

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drug dealers going corporate

    A top federal official on Tuesday said that 105 banks and credit unions are doing business with legal marijuana sellers, suggesting that federal rules giving financial institutions the go-ahead to provide services to dealers are starting to work.

    August 13, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg College sports upended by NCAA vote, judge's ruling

    Big-name conferences have leave to write their own rules, and a federal judge is forcing colleges to share television and marketing royalties with players. The guise of amateurism is gone from college athletics. What's next is anyone's guess.

    August 12, 2014 1 Photo

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks