By now, we’ve all seen the horrific footage of Toronto Blue Jays pitcher A.J. Happ getting hit in the head with a line drive during last Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Happ suffered a fractured skull, but he has since been released from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
As with any line drive to the mound, Happ’s injury has reignited the debate over whether or not pitchers should be wearing protective headgear while on the mound. Quite frankly, I don’t see why either the MLBPA or owners are debating the issue. MLB has long had a rule requiring hitters to wear helmets in the batter’s box to protect against beanballs to the temple, and the risk of such injuries to the pitcher is actually even greater.
Pitchers are just as close to the hitter as hitters are to the pitchers.