Beginning with the start of this week’s Spring Training games, Major League Baseball will require all batters to wear new advanced helmets designed to protect batters from pitches thrown up to 100 miles per hour.
Rawlings designed the helmets, which will replace the older helmets which were only designed to protect batters against pitches thrown up to 68 m.p.h. MLB made the formal announcement on Wednesday.
Art Chou, a product development executive at Rawlings, said while “no helmet is concussion proof,” the new helmet “is going to decrease the amount of energy that your head will feel, and the less energy transmitted to your head, the better.”
According to the New York Times, the S100 Pro Comp helmet is much more “streamlined than an earlier, outsize version of the helmet that was worn sporadically since 2009” by players such as David Wright. Players recovering from concussions were forced to wear the bulky helmets and were often made fun of for doing so. MLB players – and Rawlings – believe the new helmets are lighter and much more comfortable than the older model.