Home > Uncategorized > Preventing Concussions in Baseball

Preventing Concussions in Baseball

My husband had some surgery on Monday, and as a result I’ve been spending a good bit of time in the car as I drive back and forth between home and the hospital.  He’s doing well, and I’m very grateful for that.  But my normal routine has had a bit of a disruption, and one of the things that has suffered has been my writing.  So, I’m tapping out a few words on my tablet, while at the hospital, and I dearly hope that it comes out like I want it to.

I heard something interesting on the car radio this afternoon, and I wanted to share it with my readers.  There’s been a lot of attention in the media lately to concussions and head injuries in football players and some other types of athletes.  But we haven’t heard a lot about baseball players.  Well, it seems that the powers-that-be in major league baseball have decided to do something about that.  There is work underfoot to design a special helmet for pitchers to wear, that will hopefully prevent injury if they get hit in the head by a ball.

It doesn’t take too much thought to figure out that the two people on a baseball field who are at the most risk for head injuries due to being hit by a ball are the pitcher and the batter.  The catcher has that nice little mask that is designed to keep him from getting hit in the face, as the ball comes rocketing toward him at greater than 90 miles per hour.  (For that’s how fast those pitchers get that ball going.)  The batter wears a helmet as well, for it’s not all that unusual for a pitched ball to go off target and hit him. But what about the pitcher?  When the batter makes contact with the ball and sends it rifling off into the distance, often it is going every bit as fast as it was when he hit it (or even faster).  More than once I’ve seen a pitcher make a dive for the ground in an effort to avoid getting struck by the ball.  And yet, he doesn’t have a thing on his head other than a little cloth cap.

It doesn’t happen very often, but there have been a few instances over the years where a pitcher has been hit in the head by a batted ball.  And, as someone commented on the radio today, the natural instinct when a person sees a ball coming at top speed toward him is to turn his head to the side.  And doing so places that sensitive area right behind the ear directly in the line of fire.  If a person is hit hard right there, he is almost certain to have a major bleed into his brain –followed by serious brain damage or even death.  But then, is it any better to get hit squarely in the face?

Apparently a couple of companies have been researching how to make a helmet that will keep pitchers safer, while not impeding their play.  League officials have discussed the possibility of allowing pitchers to choose whether to wear the helmet or not.  One player that I heard interviewed said he would never wear it, because it would interfere with his game and he could always get out of the way in time if a ball was coming toward him.  I just hope he never has to find out otherwise.  Another player said that he would be glad to wear the helmet, agreeing that it was a good thing.

This is a story I will be following more as time goes by, and I will be sure to pass on what I learn.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. August 15, 2013 at 12:53 AM

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    • August 15, 2013 at 8:06 AM

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