OT: JA Happ hit in Head with line drive

Submitted by Allin4Blue on May 8th, 2013 at 7:49 AM

There was an interesting discussion on Doc and Bentley this morning on whether a pitcher will have to wear a helmet in the near future.  With the 4000 former NFL players suing the league, will more cases like this begin to change the games that we all love to watch? 

MLB looked into protective headgear for pitchers after Brandon McCarthy suffered life-threatening brain injuries last season, but nothing was approved in time for Opening Day.

This may be a bit gruesome for some so Viewer Discretion is advised:






May 8th, 2013 at 8:01 AM ^

It won't be long before pitchers on all levels are forced to wear some type of head/face protection. Geez they make the base coaches wear helmets but not the guy 60 feet away who is often in a compromised position at the time of contact. That has never made any sense to me. Hope Happ is OK

Happy Gilmore

May 8th, 2013 at 8:58 AM ^

I understand, and support, making the OPTION of pitcher-friendly helmets available for any pitcher who would like to wear one. I fail to understand why we must get on our high horse and decide we know what is best for everyone and make rules like "you have to wear your seat belt in the car" or "you have to wear a helmet."

Is it probably a good idea? Sure, most definitely. Is it going to effect anyone other than the person getting injured? Nope. So why must we make the decision for them?

oriental andrew

May 8th, 2013 at 9:13 AM ^

So you can go driving around without your seatbelt, get into a car accident, and be seriously injured or even die, and it won't affect anyone else, right?  Like your parents, siblings, friends, significant other, children, colleagues, etc.  Or if one of your loved ones were in the same situation, I'm sure you'd just say, "Hey, his decision, doesn't affect me."  Right?

The point is that there are many people affected when something like this happens.  Of course some people are going to be resistant, not unlike trying to force NHL players to wear facemasks.  Is it right to legislate?  That's a separate question.  I think it's worth a discussion, though.  

(Also, affect, not effect)


Happy Gilmore

May 8th, 2013 at 9:20 AM ^

I'm not actually advocating for not wearing a seat belt but it is an appropriate analogy. When I say it doesn't effect others, I mean that it doesn't put other people in physical danger (versus, say, an example of drunk driving where you are directly endangering others). Mature persons should be able to see the benefits for themselves and make the appropriate decision; if not, natural selection. You cannot force people to be smart.

This is why I said I absolutely support the development and use of helmets by pitchers to prevent potential horrible head injuries that would surely have an effect on their families, etc. But I don't see why it needs to be made mandatory (for anyone above high school age - I would support making it mandatory for kids under 18).


May 8th, 2013 at 9:09 AM ^

Because insurance.  Guess what, dipshits on motorcycles who weave between traffic with no safety gear then bitch about "Look Twice for Motorcycles"... my insurance premiums go up because I have to support you in your vegetative state for the rest of your life.  Intresting story and I hope someone can let me know if this is actually true, but don't insurance companies actually lobby state governments AGAINST helmet laws?  I've heard they'd rather the rider just die and pay out the ~$500,000 death insurance than pay for the massive medical bills associated with serious motorcycle accidents.  And what exactly is the argument against seatbelts???  I can't think of a downside (except: ooooohhhhh I'm a little girl and it makes my neck itchy!!!).  Plus they make women's boobs look great.

Doc Brown

May 8th, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

one word: insurance. Future Darwin award winners that drive around without a seatbelt or ride without a helmet affects my auto, home, life, and health insurance premiums. In order to protect itself from liability the league can mandate protection.  Go ahead and be a moron when you drive or ride your bike. You better darn well pay into insurance more than I do with additional premiums


May 8th, 2013 at 8:45 AM ^

Very scary.....you simply can't protect the face of a pitcher and still provide visibility.  Hits like this are rare, but very scary. 


May 8th, 2013 at 11:42 AM ^

I would think a hockey helmet would compromise a pitchers ability to sneek a peek towards first base when a runner is on first. 

This is an occupational hazard of baseball.....fortunately it is very rare.  I remember when Herb Score, a great pitcher for Cleveland, was hit in the eye by a hit from Gil McDougald.  It ruined his career.

People get hit by foul balls, baseball bats break and fly into the stands, players have injuries. At some point you have to accept a bit of risk as long as the risks are very low.



May 8th, 2013 at 9:03 AM ^

I'm not saying that this is a reason not to require certain equipment, but it's probably going to affect pitching ability at least a little. Honestly, I could see them forced to wear some form of helmet that doesn't move around during the pitch and a chest protector. Both of those are required pieces of equipment in sports like hockey and lacrosse where they have objects flying at them at roughly the same speed.


May 8th, 2013 at 9:15 AM ^

Not being insensitive at all here, as I agree with the nature of this play (scary, awful, etc), but I did not see anything gruesome.  Probably for the best that not much was seen around the head after impact and thus the warning may not be needed.  I went in thinking we might be seeing some Kevin Ware type thing here.


May 8th, 2013 at 10:14 AM ^

I agree with the above opinions re baseball pitchers and helmets.  My guess is that in just a few years the sight of pitchers wearing nothing but a cap will seem odd and will generate the same "WTF were THEY thinking?" type reactions that this picture does.