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The history of the batting helmet

Mar 10, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

lar at Wezen-Ball has it, and it’s more interesting than you might imagine. Call me crazy, but I think the polo helmets Connie Mack experimented with following Mickey Cochrane’s career-ending beaning look pretty spiffy.

The big joke last year was about David Wright and that giant new helmet he wore a few times towards the end of the season.  Know what?  If I thought it meant the difference between getting killed or walking away from a major league fastball to the noggin, I’d wear it in a heartbeat. Hell, I’d probably wear a set of mixing bowls or the kettle to a Weber Grill if I thought it would keep me safe.

  1. enough already - Mar 10, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    He only wore it once, the day he came back. He didn’t wear it again because it bounced around when he was running the bases. I know that baseball players object for reasons of vanity but right now practicality is indeed an issue. I’m with you, though. Safety first.

  2. Old Gator - Mar 10, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Back thirty years or so ago when I was living in London, an old friend of mine – an artist and therefore disinherited son of a prominent British Lord and high-ranking government official who must therefore remain nameless but who responded to being financially cut off by walking around Cambridge with a sandwich board that claimed that if he could raise a hundred and fifty pounds to pay his rent he would set himself on fire and jump off a bridge into the river and raised the money and did indeed set himself on fire and jump into the river and caused the Cambridge city council to pass an ordinance specifically making it illegal to set yourself on fire and jump off a bridge into a river within the city limits, and gave me and my current wife one of his best paintings as a wedding present – this artist invented a piece of headgear called the spliff helmet which reminds me a lot of David Wright’s helmet, except that it was made entirely of aluminum foil and completely covered the head and had only one little strategically located hole right before the lips so that when you exhaled the smoke filled the helmet, except that he invented it to make it more enjoyable to sit around his flat in Crystal Palace watching Falklands War reportage on the BBC and not, as you might expect, for playing cricket.
    Granted, this particular piece of headgear wouldn’t do much to protect you from a beanball, but it would make getting beaned indistinguishable from not getting beaned.

  3. enough already - Mar 10, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    Were you using it when you wrote that first sentence?

  4. Old Gator - Mar 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Naah. But I was up half the night reading El otono de patriarca, god damn it, and it just kinda stuck with me, you know?

  5. enough already - Mar 10, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    Oh, ok. Just as long as you kept your pants on.

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