Olbermann: Should pitchers wear helmets? They already did

From SABR member Keith Olbermann at Baseball Nerd on May 8, 2013:

Last night it was J.A. Happ, felled by a line drive, bleeding from the ear – and yet out of the hospital within 16 hours.

Last year it was Brandon McCarthy, felled by a line drive, walking off under his own power and pronounced fit and then suddenly requiring especially dangerous brain surgery (and not utterly incidentally, still having not had one good start since).

Yesterday it was the 56th anniversary of the day it was Herb Score – who was thought to be on his way to the career Sandy Koufax wound up having – felled by a line drive. 38-20 with 547 strikeouts in his first 512 innings in the majors, 17-26 with 290 strikeouts in his agonizing last 346.


So once again the debate begins about giving helmets or at least lined caps to pitchers, and half of baseball insists it will have to happen after this incident, and the other half (including nearly all the pitchers) insisting it never will happen.

It already has.

Branch Rickey not only fostered the introduction of the helmet for batters, but later helped to develop (and actually own most of the stock in the company producing) the kind of helmet worn today – the one that can fit over a cap rather than force the batter to swap the one for the other After his successes in Brooklyn Rickey was squeezed out by Walter O’Malley and he went on to Pittsburgh where, in 1952, he mandated that his batters use them.

Read the full article here: http://keitholbermann.mlblogs.com/2013/05/08/should-pitchers-wear-helmets-they-already-did/

Originally published: May 8, 2013. Last Updated: May 8, 2013.