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San Diego Padres reliever became the first pitcher to wear a protective baseball cap during an MLB game on Saturday, June 21, 2014.
For the past few season there has been a growing focus on how to better protect pitchers from getting hit in the head by a line drive. The pitcher’s mound at every MLB stadium is roughly 60 feet from the back of home plate. This means a pitcher is approx. 55 feet from the plate after their follow-through.
This makes things very dangerous when a batter hits a ball back up the middle directly at a pitcher. Most recently Aroldis Chapman was struck in the head by a line drive which brought up the discussion for protective caps.
On Saturday night Alex Torres, left-handed reliever for the Padres, made a statement when he came into the game wearing one of those caps.
"It doesn't feel bad. The difference between the regular hat and this hat is not really that big,” said Torres via Yahoo.
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 22, 2014
image via Twitter from SportingNews.
A traditional baseball cap molds around the head and weighs roughly three or four ounces. The protective caps not only adds to the thickness of a typical hat but also adds around seven ounces according to BleacherReport.
A close call in spring training apparently scared Torres leading him to acquire one of these caps. While line drives are rarely going to hit a pitcher in the head, Torres expected one thing from wearing the cap – peace of mind.