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Major League Baseball is requesting, examining and asking for modifications on baseball caps with padding inside them for added protection against line drives, according to ESPN.The MLB’s inquiry into protective hats comes three months after Oakland A’s pitcher Brandon McCarthy was struck in the head by a line drive and suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion, and fractured skull. McCarthy had to undergo surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. A month later in the World Series, Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister was hit in the side of the head, but did not sustain an injury.
The two incidents set off a flurry of speculation about how the league would deal with these frightening plays. Would pitchers where batting helmets on the mounds?
The MLB is focused on testing and signing off on a new safety product for players.
Unequal Technologies, a company that designs specialised products designed to reduce injuries all over the body, has already sent hat prototypes lined with protection to pitchers for feedback. The padding in the hat is one-eighth of an inch thick and is made of a three-layer synthetic composite.
The company already sells products that are designed to reduce the possibility of an athlete suffering a concussion.
The MLB seems to have found the type of product it wants, but now the focus is on creating an on-field product for pitchers that does not impede performance and is comfortable enough that pitchers have no problem wearing it.