Helmet Debate Ignited After Alex Cobb Struck in the Head (Video)
Alex Cobb, pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays was taken off the field tonight after being struck by a line drive to the head. His injury has ignited a new debate whether pitchers should wear helmets.
Cobb was taken off the field on a stretcher after he was hit on the right ear by a liner off the bat of Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer in the fifth inning of the Rays’ 5-3 win over the Royals on Saturday, reports Florida Today. Cobb put a hand on his head after being struck. Trainers from both teams and other medical staff immediately ran onto the field. Cobb could be seen kicking his legs while being examined on the mound.
The Rays announced that Alex Cobb remained conscious the whole time and was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg for further examination.
The sound of the ball striking Alex Cobb – which sounded like a bat hitting a ball – could be heard in the press box, reports Florida Today.
A spokesmen for the Tampa Bay Rays said all test were normal but that Cobb had suffered a mild concussion.
The incident, along with the one last month involving Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ, has ignited an online frenzy in the blogosphere–that “wimpy” individuals might try to force pitchers to wear helmets.
It wouldn’t be the first time, however that a line drive to the head has ignited debates about the use of helmets. Unbeknownst to many people, in 1953, General Manager for the Pitsburg Pirates, Branch Rickey, mandated that all his players wear helmets.
According to MLB Blogs Network, several accounts have the Bucs’ pitchers quickly – within weeks – discarding the helmets for the same reason today’s pitchers dismiss the idea: they were too heavy and clunky and sweaty. Critics called them “Miners’ hats” and said they were for timid men and bush leaguers.But Pirates’ pitchers dismiss them, not entirely anyway. Nearly all the Pirates’ publicity and pre-game photos through the 1956 season showed their players – including the pitchers – in the helmets.
The MLB Blogs Network goes on to say, we might very well not only have to wait for a pitcher to be killed before baseball does anything about this – we might have to wait until– then and add 51 years to the wait. It’s safe to say that this debate will continue to go on, but one thing is for sure–Alex Cobb will not be the last pitcher to be struck by a line drive while not wearing a helmet.
A list of current pitcher injuries:
–J.A. Happ (mentioned above)
1.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).
2. This year 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.
3.In 2011 it was Juan Nicasio
4. In 2000 it was Bryce Florie
5. In 1994 it was Mike Wilson
6. In 1991 it was Wally Whitehurst. And before them it was Steve Shields, repeatedly. And it’s been Kaz Ishii and David Huff and Matt Clement. And Joe Beckwith – who got hurt not because he was