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Those new, stronger batting helmets are now mandatory

Feb 20, 2013, 9:14 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Getty Images

The press release is out and with the games starting this weekend, new batting helmets will be on every head:

– Beginning with the start of this week’s Spring Training exhibition games, Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. … and its new S100® Pro Comp™ batting helmet will become the standard throughout Major League Baseball®. The mandatory implementation of Rawlings’ technologically-advanced batting helmet is outlined in the 5-year collective bargaining agreement signed in November 2011 by MLB and the MLB Players Association™. Rawlings is the Official Batting Helmet of Major League Baseball.

In non-press release speak, those are updated versions of the carbon fiber helmets which were introduced a few years ago and were worn by players like David Wright, who were coming back from concussions. But there’s a big difference: they are much smaller than they used to be, back when people called them “Great Gazoo” helmets or whatever. Even last year, when they weren’t yet mandatory, the helmets were smaller.

Ken Belson of the New York Times has an in-depth story on the helmets. How they’re better, how they’re made and all of that.

Good for baseball for trying to stay ahead of the game in player safety.

  1. jtpercell - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    Another stunt by Roger Goodell to avoid lawsuits from former players?

    • atltoarizona - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      Excuse me sir, but since when is wanting to protect players from injury a “stunt”?

      • Kevin S. - Feb 20, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        It’s a stunt when you claim to be trying to protect players from injuries while pushing for an eighteen-game season.

  2. chacochicken - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Gritty players don’t need no fancy new helmets.

    • DJ MC - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      That’s not grit; it’s bits of shattered bone.

  3. dluxxx - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Now when are they going to implement the bat glove to keep these shattered bats from skewering someone?

  4. yankeepunk3000 - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    they need to now change those maple bats because they shatter way too often,

  5. atltoarizona - Feb 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    So how long before they put face masks on the helmets like in little league?

  6. Stiller43 - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:26 PM


    I dont think you get what he was saying…

    • atltoarizona - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:32 PM

      I will agree, I jumped the gun a bit on this one.

  7. dondada10 - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    Kurt Gibson is going to be pissed.

  8. Minoring In Baseball - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Good news for the batters. Nothing wrong with more protection for sure. This shouln’t have too much effect, unless the batters have a little more confidence crowding the plate. Wouln’t surprise me in the future to see the metal bats come into play. The new ones they use on college emulate the wooden bats fairly closely on the speed of the ball coming off the bat. It would be atough tradition to break, but you never know.

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