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Padres reliever Alex Torres becomes the first major league pitcher to wear a protective cap

Jun 22, 2014, 9:34 AM EDT

Padres left-hander Alex Torres made history in his relief appearance Saturday night against the Giants, becoming the first major league pitcher to wear a padded cap in a regular-season game …


That screenshot comes from rehabbing Rockies left-hander Brett Anderson, a good follow on Twitter. The thing looks ridiculous, but Torres told Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune late Saturday night that “it doesn’t feel bad — the difference between the regular hat and this hat is not really that big.”

Manufactured by isoBlox and approved by MLB, these caps are available to any player who wants one.

Torres gave up a run on two walks and a hit in Saturday’s appearance, but let’s not blame the headwear.

  1. chargrz - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    Looks like he has a diaper on his head. Most of the injuries to pitchers on line drives are to the face and not the top of the head. It looks ridiculous.

    • renaado - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      Kudos to Torres for wearin this protective headgear, it may look “ridiculous” as you said but it can probably save someone from a concussion when the ball hits the head.

      Might as well take the initiative, than wait for somethin bad to happen…

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        Indeed Ren, and I’ve no doubt the first catcher’s masks, shin guards and chest protectors, as well as the first batting helmets and gloves all looked quite odd at first.

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Jun 24, 2014 at 1:19 AM

      It is better to look Marvelous, than to be marvelous.

  2. dexterismyhero - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    I sometimes call people on this site an a$$hat. Guess I have to stop now. smh.

    Anyway, it is a good start to safety for the pitchers.

  3. kicksave1980 - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    “Besides, Rick, seein’ is the most important thing.”

    “…I don’t think it’s THAT important.”

  4. onbucky96 - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    It looks like that silly hat Sway used to wear on MTV.

  5. denny65 - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Nope. Sorry. Goofy.

  6. rayderray - Jun 22, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    Welp… Of Hollywood decided to reboot Super Mario Bros. As a live action film… They’ve got ONE down!

    • gloccamorra - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:28 AM

      Actually, my first thought was of Peanuts character Charlie Brown on the pitcher’s mound, just before his hat, shoes and socks are knocked off by a line drive.

  7. vanmorrissey - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    If hitters wear batting helmets that hug their head, why can’t they develop something similar for pitchers? Something more head conforming but protective nonetheless. That would seem more likely to be worn by pitchers since they would not look like the little green man from the Jetsons.

    • gloccamorra - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:31 AM

      Good point. A batting helmet has more head coverage than that hat seems to provide, and there would be no comparisons on HBT to Super Mario Bros., Charlie Brown, and Elmer Fudd to deter pitchers from using it.

  8. edstones - Jun 22, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Also helps to protect against wascally wabbits.

    • yahmule - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Will it prevent them from taking the barrels of the shotgun you stuck down their hole and pointing them back up through another hole aimed at your posterior? This seems to be a major area of risk.

  9. wittenisgod - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Ha Super Mario at the mound

  10. hockeyflow33 - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Maybe baseball isn’t for you if you need to wear this.

  11. mikhelb - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Maybd the time will come where pitchers will be replaced by pitching machines controlled by somebody from the dugout with only a camera facing homeplate and an extra infielder to field possible bunts.

  12. mazblast - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    It’s part of a Terrible Triad, similar to the one for child care expense (quality, affordability, availability–you can have only two out of three). In this case, it’s quality, appearance, affordability. It’s a START; improvements will follow.

    For now though, it reminds me of the “over-helmet” Buffalo safety Mark Kelso wore during the Bills’ heyday in the early Nineties.

    My concern is that the area this cap protects is not necessarily the most vulnerable. I’d like to see something that protects the side of the head. However, as I said, it’s a START.

  13. LIBERAL JUSTICE - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:35 AM

    I didn’t realize baseball became a women’s sport…

    • renaado - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:57 AM


      What a joke… Clearly this headgear is made to protect em, if you think otherwise… Then you might as well go to another sport that is suitable to your liking.

  14. bbk1000 - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    Who cares the way it looks…..if it works, good enough….it reminds me a bit of the old RBI Baseball….the greatest BB game of all time….

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