Batting helmet

A batting helmet is worn by batters in the game of baseball or softball. It is meant to protect the batter's head from errant pitches thrown by the pitcher. A batter who is "hit by pitch," due to an inadvertent wild pitch or a pitcher's purposeful attempt to hit him, may be seriously, even fatally, injured.

Cameron Maybin Whitecaps
Cameron Maybin wearing a batting helmet with double earflaps
Paulgoldschmidt1-head
Paul Goldschmidt wearing a batting helmet with a single earflap

Early concepts (1905–1920s)

In 1905, Mogridge[1] created the first crude protective head gear and was granted patent No. 780899 for a "head protector." This first attempt at a batting helmet was said to look like an "inflatable boxing glove that wrapped around the hitters head."[2] Roger Bresnahan, Hall of Fame catcher who was injured after being struck in the head with a pitch, developed a leather-batting helmet in 1908 which he began using.[1] The helmets were not so much helmets as they were protective earmuffs. They did not protect the actual head of the batter but rather protected the ear and temple region.

In 1908, Chicago White Sox shortstop Freddy Parent wore a head protector of some sort and Chicago Cubs' first baseman-manager Frank Chance did the same thing in 1913, though Chance’s headgear was "little more than a sponge wrapped in a bandage."[2] In 1914, minor leaguer Joe Bosk, playing for the Utica Utes, wore a protector after being severely injured when he was struck in the head by a pitch in 1911.[3]

The first known case of a manager issuing head protectors to his players on a large scale was Philadelphia Phillies' manager Pat Moran who gave cork-cushioned hats to his players in 1921.[2]

Revived interest (1930s–1950s)

Despite the fatal beaning of Ray Chapman in 1920, protective headgear was still used only rarely in the major leagues. After Mickey Cochrane, a Hall of Fame catcher for the Detroit Tigers, suffered a career-ending and near-fatal skull fracture on May 25, 1937 on a pitch by New York Yankees' pitcher Bump Hadley, there was a strong call for batter helmets.[4] Cochrane himself went on record saying that players should "absolutely" be required to wear protective helmets.[2]

Only one week after Cochrane's injury, on June 1, 1937, the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Athletics became the first teams to test helmets, using leather and polo helmets respectively. Managers of both teams decided to use batting practice as a test run for helmet use on their players, before a game between the two teams. Though there is picture evidence[4] of the polo helmets being worn in batting practice, there is no evidence of their being used or worn in a game. The first documented team to wear helmets in a game was the Des Moines Demons of the Western League.[2] They also used polo helmets but the idea did not stick, as they only wore the helmets for one game.

The first professional baseball league to fully adopt the baseball helmet was the International League, which did so in 1939 when the list of official equipment used began to include a "safety cap or helmet". Buster Mills was the first player in the league to use a helmet.[2]

Bob Hunter LA sportswriter.jpeg
Los Angeles sportswriter Bob Hunter modeling a new baseball helmet in 1939. The helmet's design is similar to earmuffs and fits over the baseball cap.

The idea of making helmets a required part of Major League Baseball was discussed by officials of the National League in a meeting at the 1940 MLB All-Star Game in Chicago. Ford Frick, president of the National League, showed the helmet he designed with the hopes that the league would adopt it. Though the National League at this meeting did not adopt it, Jackie Hayes became the first player to wear the helmet in a game on August 22, 1940.[2]

In 1941, the National League adopted the use of a helmet, designed by George Bennett, a Johns Hopkins University brain surgeon, for use by all teams in spring training. On March 8, 1941 the Brooklyn Dodgers announced that the team’s players would be wearing the helmets during regular season games. On April 26, 1941 the Washington Senators joined the Dodgers as the only two teams to fully adopt the batting helmet for regular season use. The New York Giants on June 6 and the Chicago Cubs on June 24 also joined the list of teams to fully adopt the use of protective helmets during games.[2]

Though many thought this would be the time when support would be strong enough to develop widespread usage, again tradition won out, and it was not until 1953 that the Pittsburgh Pirates mandated their players wear helmets.[2] The helmet required by Pittsburgh General Manager Branch Rickey (formerly the Dodgers General Manager and President) was created by Charlie Muse and was based on the hard hats used by miners. Soon after, the Ottawa Citizen wrote that "Major League clubs are becoming quite interested in a new type of plastic protective cap which has been put on the market recently." This became even more prevalent when on August 1, 1954, Joe Adcock, a first baseman for the Milwaukee Braves, was struck with a pitch on his head. He was wearing a helmet and, though he was taken off the field on a stretcher, he was uninjured as his helmet took the brunt of the impact and was visibly dented.[2]

In the early 1950s, the governing body of Little League Baseball mandated the use of protective headgear during games for all players. In 1956 the National League followed suit and required the use of batting helmets by all players on all teams. After Little League Baseball announced a better helmet for the use of all players, the American League passed the rule, on March 1, 1958 which required all players to wear helmets.[2] However, though unlike in the NHL in the same era, helmets were widely accepted, it was not until December 1970[5] that Major League Baseball enforced strictly mandatory use of the batting helmet for all batters. Veteran players, however, were given the option of choosing to wear a helmet or not, as they were grandfathered into the rule. The last Major League player who did not wear a helmet while batting was Bob Montgomery, who last played for the Boston Red Sox in 1979[1] Incidentally, the same year the NHL finally made helmets compulsory with a similar grandfather clause for veteran players.

Modifications (1960–2000)

Dodgers coach Larry Bowa wearing a batting helmet, spring training 2008
Larry Bowa wears the flapless helmet formerly used by players (but still used by some catchers) and now used by coaches.

In 1960, Jim Lemon became the first player to wear the new Little League helmet in a Major League game. These helmets were made with earflaps on both sides and were capable of withstanding a ball traveling at up to 120 miles per hour (190 km/h). One month later, Jimmy Piersall became the second player to wear the helmet in the Major Leagues.

With the helmet being worn league wide in Major League Baseball, alterations began in 1961.

On July 23, 1961, catcher Earl Battey was hit in the face with a pitch, fracturing a bone, and 10 days later returned to the field with a makeshift earflap to protect the injured area, though he only wore it for one game because he complained of difficulty seeing while wearing it.[2] Tony Oliva also wore a makeshift face protector during batting practice, as did the Twins’ Jimmie Hall in the 1965 World Series.[6]

In 1964, the Phillies' Tony González was the first to wear a batting helmet with a pre-molded earflap. Prior to this, earflaps had been improvised. González was in the league top-ten in hit by pitches and the special helmet was constructed for his use.[7] Shortly after this, Major League Baseball adopted the use of a helmet with a pre-molded earflap.[6]

Ron Santo was also an early pioneer of wearing earflap helmets at the major league level, upon returning to action after having his left cheekbone fractured by a pitch in 1966. Although helmets with earflaps were common at the amateur levels in baseball, they were slow to gain popularity at the professional level. Some batters felt that seeing the earflap out of the corner of an eye was distracting. Tony Conigliaro was wearing a helmet without an earflap when he was seriously injured by a pitch in August 1967.

In 1978, the next significant helmet remodeling took place when the Pirates Dave Parker wore a hockey mask at the plate after he broke his cheek and jaw bones in a collision at home plate.[8] This lasted only one game and Parker then tried to use a helmet with an attached two-bar football facemask.[8] He also tried a helmet with another football facemask, the Dungard 210 facemask, screwed into his helmet. Other notable players to utilize a modified batting helmet include Gary Roenicke (1979), Ellis Valentine (1980), Terry Steinbach, Charlie Hayes, David Justice, Kevin Seitzer, Terrence Long, and minor leaguer Tony Roth.[8]

In 1983, it was made mandatory for new players to use a helmet with at least one earflap.[9] Players who were grandfathered in could choose to wear a helmet without ear flaps, if they so desired. Players can choose to wear double earflap helmets in the major leagues; however, this is not mandatory. Tim Raines was the last player to wear a helmet without earflaps, during the 2002 season. His flap-less Florida Marlins helmet is currently at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Gary Gaetti, who retired in the year 2000, plus Ozzie Smith and Tim Wallach, who both retired in 1996, also wore flapless helmets until they retired.[10] Julio Franco, who retired from baseball in May 2008, was the last active player eligible to wear a helmet without flaps, but he chose to wear a helmet with an earflap throughout his career. Some players, mostly switch hitters, also decide to wear double earflap helmets while batting. Two players to do this were Orlando Hudson and Chuck Knoblauch.[11]

On April 8, 2004, celebrated as "Hank Aaron Day" in Atlanta because it is the 30th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s record-breaking 715th home run, Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal came to the plate in the sixth inning with a helmet without an earflap, as a tribute to Hank Aaron, who played his entire career in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and therefore did not wear a helmet with an earflap during his playing career. Umpire Bill Welke made him get one with a flap.

Currently, all leagues up to and including Minor League Baseball require the use of a double earflap batting helmet. In Major League Baseball, however, only one earflap is required (for the ear closest to the pitcher).

Recent developments (Since 2000)

Jason Heyward Braves at Rangers in Texas in Sept 2014
Jason Heyward wears a helmet with a protective guard during a 2014 game. Heyward started wearing the guard after being hit by a pitch in his face, which caused him to suffer a broken jaw.

In 2005, Major League Baseball tested a new batting helmet for the first time in nearly three decades. At the All-Star Game in Detroit, players were seen wearing a new "molded crown" helmet that featured side vents, back vents and larger ear holes.[12] The majority of players now wear these new helmets but some including Ryan Howard stayed with the older style.

The no-flap helmet is still utilized in baseball. Catchers often wear a flapless helmet along with a facemask to protect the head when receiving pitches. Occasionally, players other than catchers will wear a batting helmet without earflaps while playing a defensive position in the field. This is usually done by a player who has a higher-than-normal risk of head injury. One example is former major-league player John Olerud, who started doing so after undergoing emergency surgery for a cerebral aneurysm while attending Washington State University. An earlier example was Richie Allen, who decided to wear a helmet in the field after at least one incident of being hit by objects thrown by fans.[1]

Major League bat-boys/bat-girls and ball boys/ball girls are required to wear a helmet rather than a cap while performing their duties while on the field of play. They are allowed to use the no-flap helmet for this purpose, and many do.

Following the 2007 death of Tulsa Drillers first base coach Mike Coolbaugh after being hit by a batted ball, there has been debate as to whether base coaches should wear helmets. Following the incident, the Oakland Athletics' Rene Lachemann decided to wear a helmet out to his third base coaching position.

After the 2007 season, Major League Baseball made it mandatory for coaches to wear helmets beginning with the 2008 season,[13] although some coaches, such as the Los Angeles DodgersLarry Bowa, have disagreed with the decision.[14]

In 2009, Major League Baseball decided to take action and protect players from the increasing number of concussions and head injuries.[15] Rawlings came out with the S100 baseball helmet, named for its impact capabilities. It was able to withstand the impact of a baseball traveling at 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) from 2 feet (0.6 m) away.[16] The other baseball helmets used are only required to withstand a 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) impact from 2 feet (0.6 m) away.[17] The first Major League Player to wear this helmet during a game was Canadian-born Ryan Dempster, a pitcher with the Chicago Cubs.[15] The new helmet did not catch on because the players said it made them look like bobbleheads. Some players, including Mets third baseman David Wright, did decide to use the helmet while batting.[16]

In 2013, per the new MLB-MLBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, MLB players were required to wear the new Rawlings S100 Pro Comp.[18]

In 2018, several Major League Baseball players including Mike Trout and Bryce Harper began wearing the C-flap, an attachment to the earflap covering the jaw, invented by Markwort. The C-flap has caught on quickly throughout Major League Baseball and now batting helmet manufacturers such as Rawlings and Easton have begun producing helmets with a built-in earflap extension emulating the C-flap.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d "Baseball Batting Helmets - A History" Sports Safety Blog, September 2009
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Searching for the History of the Batting Helmet" Wezen Ball - A Baseball Blog, March 2011
  3. ^ Morris, Peter (2010). A Game of Inches - The Story Behind the Innovations that Shaped Baseball. Chicago, Ill.: Ivan R. Dee (member of the Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group). p. 304. ISBN 978-1-56663-853-1. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Helmet for Baseball Batters is Urged as Safety Measure". Popular Mechanics. 68 (3): 390. July 1937. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Baseball Committee Set Rules", Schenectady Gazette; December 2, 1970; p. 54
  6. ^ a b "The Ear-flap Chronicles Continued" Uni-Watch Blog, August 2011
  7. ^ Paul Lukas (2010-02-02). "There's No Service Like Wire Service, Vol. 3". Uni Watch Blog. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  8. ^ a b c "Aggh! It’s Dave Parker at the Plate" ESPN.com: Page 2, July 2008
  9. ^ Street, Jim. "Safe at home plate". Major League Baseball Advanced Media. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  10. ^ "La Point of It All"; in Newsday; April 11, 1993; p. 07
  11. ^ "Orlando Hudson Batting Helmet" Archived April 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine in Alright Hamilton!, February 2010
  12. ^ ""MLB midseason fashion report" ESPN.com: p. 2, July 2005
  13. ^ "MLB GMs: Base coaches must wear helmets in 2008" in USA Today, November 11, 2007
  14. ^ "Larry Bowa will not wear your stupid helmet" in USA Today, February 29, 2008
  15. ^ a b "Better to look good than feel good?" ESPN.com: Page 2 , August 2009
  16. ^ a b "Wright Will Be Wearing New Helmet"; The New York Times, August 2009
  17. ^ "Safe Batting Helmet Draws Resistance From Some Players’ The New York Times, August 2009
  18. ^ "MLB Players to Debut New Rawlings S100 Pro Comp™ Batting Helmet This Season" PRNewswire, April 2012
Baseball clothing and equipment

Bat

A rounded, solid wooden or hollow aluminum bat. Wooden bats are traditionally made from ash wood, though maple and bamboo is also sometimes used. Aluminum bats are not permitted in professional leagues, but are frequently used in amateur leagues. Composite bats are also available, essentially wooden bats with a metal rod inside. Bamboo bats are also becoming popular.

Ball

A cork sphere, tightly wound with layers of yarn or string and covered with a stitched leather coat.

Base

One of four corners of the infield which must be touched by a runner in order to score a run; more specifically, they are canvas bags (at first, second, and third base) and a rubber plate (at home).

Glove

Leather gloves worn by players in the field. Long fingers and a webbed "KKK" between the thumb and first finger allows the fielder to catch the ball more easily.

Catcher's mitt

Leather mitt worn by catchers. It is much wider than a normal fielder's glove and the four fingers are connected. The mitt is also better-padded than the standard fielder's glove.

First baseman's mitt

Leather mitt worn by first basemen. It is longer and wider than a standard fielder's glove. The four fingers are connected and the glove is rounded like a catcher's mitt. A first baseman's mitt has a bit more padding than a standard fielder's glove

Batting gloves

Gloves often worn on one or both hands by the batter. They offer additional grip and eliminate some of the shock when making contact with the ball.

Batting helmet

Helmet worn by batter to protect the head and the ear facing the pitcher from the ball. Professional models have only one ear protector (left ear for right-handed batters, right ear for lefties), amateur and junior helmets usually have ear protectors on both sides, for better protection from loose balls, and to reduce costs to teams (all players can use the same style of helmet).

Baseball cap

Hat worn by all players. Designed to shade the eyes from the sun, this hat design has become popular with the general public.

Catcher's helmet

Protective helmet with face mask worn by the catcher. Newer styles feature a fully integrated helmet and mask, similar to a hockey goalie mask. More traditional versions were a separate mask worn over a helmet similar to a batting helmet, but with no ear protection and worn backwards.

Jockstrap with cup pocket

also called jock or athletic supporter. An undergarment worn by boys and men for support of the testicles and penis during sports. A jockstrap by itself holds the testicles up and close to the body to help keep them from being squished between the thighs, or from twisting or hanging out. The jockstrap with cup pocket contains a pocket to hold a protective cup.

Protective cup

Also called a baseball cup, box, athletic cup - made of hard impact-resistant plastic or light metal, often with flexible sides for comfort and protection, designed to protect the testicles and groin from impact of a baseball, baseball bat, cleats, or any other moving object. Absolutely required for catchers, pitchers, and often all infielders. Many leagues require all male players to wear jockstrap and cup for practices and games.

Pelvic protector

Provides groin protection for females against impact.

Uniform

Shirt and pants worn by all players, coaches and managers. Each team generally has a unique pattern of colors and designs. Traditionally, the home team's uniform is predominantly white with the team's nickname, and the visiting team's is predominantly gray with (usually, but not always) the team's city. Teams often have white, gray and colored jerseys; colored jerseys can be worn at home or on the road, depending on the team's preference.

Sliding shorts

Padded support shorts sometimes worn to protect the thighs when the player slides into the bases. Some sliding shorts contain a pocket for a protective cup. This is so the player does not have to wear a jockstrap and sliding shorts at the same time, although many players find the cup is held in place better by wearing it in a jockstrap under sliding shorts.

Sunglasses

Worn to shade the eyes from the sun.

Baseball cleats

Baseball specific shoes worn by the player for better traction. The cleats themselves are either rubber or metal.

Baseball doughnut

A weighted ring that fits over the end of a baseball bat, used for warming up during a baseball game. A doughnut can help increase bat speed.

Batboy

A batboy or batgirl in sports is an individual who carries the baseball bats around to a baseball team. A batboy may also lay out the equipment and mud the baseballs to be used in the game.

Beanball

"Beanball" is a colloquialism used in baseball, for a ball thrown at an opposing player with the intention of striking them such as to cause harm, often connoting a throw at the player's head (or "bean" in old-fashioned slang). A pitcher who throws beanballs often is known as a "headhunter". The term may be applied to any sport in which a player on one team regularly attempts to throw a ball toward the general vicinity of a player of the opposite team, but is typically expected not to hit that player with the ball. In cricket, the equivalent term is "beamer". Some people use the term, beaner, though that usage is discouraged because of the negative connotations associated with that usage.

Bob Montgomery (baseball)

Robert Edward "Bob" Montgomery (born April 16, 1944) is an American former baseball catcher who played ten seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Nicknamed "Monty", he played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox from 1970 to 1979. He batted and threw right-handed and also played six games at first base. But he occasionally jokes that he's "amphibious", meaning he is ambidextrous, as he writes left-handed.

Montgomery signed for the Boston Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1962 and played for seven of their minor league affiliates until 1970, when the Red Sox promoted him to the major leagues. There, he served as the team's backup catcher behind future Hall of Fame member Carlton Fisk. He spent the next nine years with the Red Sox and played his last game on September 9, 1979. Montgomery is most famous for being the last major league player to bat without wearing a batting helmet.

Branch Rickey

Wesley Branch Rickey (December 20, 1881 – December 9, 1965) was an American baseball player and sports executive. He was perhaps best known for breaking Major League Baseball's color barriers by signing black player Jackie Robinson, as well as for creating the framework for the modern minor league farm system, for encouraging the Major Leagues to add new teams through his involvement in the proposed Continental League, and for introducing the batting helmet. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967, two years after his death.

Rickey played in MLB for the St. Louis Browns and New York Highlanders from 1905 through 1907. After struggling as a player, Rickey returned to college, where he learned about administration from Philip Bartelme. Returning to MLB in 1913, Rickey embarked on a successful managing and executive career with the St. Louis Browns, the St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cardinals elected him to their team Hall of Fame in 2014.

Rickey also had a career in football, as a player for the professional Shelby Blues and as a coach at Ohio Wesleyan University and Allegheny College. His many achievements and deep Christian faith earned him the nickname "the Mahātmā."

Coolflo

The Coolflo is a batting helmet designed by Rawlings and first put into regular use during the 2006 Major League Baseball season. The helmet is designed to allow air to flow through for a more comfortable feel for the hitter. It was previewed during the 2005 All-Star Game before being put into regular use. The new helmet was worn by eight teams (Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, Anaheim Angels, New York Mets, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, and Baltimore Orioles) in 2006 and is now available to all 30 MLB Clubs since 2007. Individual players have the option to wear the new design, but are not required to do so. As of 2008 there are only four teams who do not have at least one player wearing the helmet: Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals.

The Chicago Cubs abandoned the Coolflo helmets in 2009 because too many of them were breaking.

Cricket helmet

In the sport of cricket, batsmen often wear a helmet to protect themselves from injury or concussion by the cricket ball, which is very hard and can be bowled to them at speeds over 90 miles per hour (140 km/h). Cricket helmets cover the whole of the head, and have a grill or perspex visor to protect the face. Often constructed with a carbon fibre and Kevlar shell, the helmet is designed to deflect cricket balls as well as shield the wearer from impact, and its liner includes an inflatable element to tightly fit the helmet to its wearer's head.Fielders who are positioned very close to the batsman (e.g. silly point or short leg) often wear a helmet and shin guards. Nowadays it is almost unheard of for a professional cricketer to face a fast bowler without a helmet. Some batsmen prefer not to wear a helmet when facing spin bowling.

It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown

It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown is the 35th prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was produced in 1992 but unlike previous specials, it was not shown on CBS, and remained unseen until Paramount released it on video in 1996 alongside 1966's Charlie Brown's All-Stars. The special was released by Warner Home Video on October 9, 2012, on the DVD Happiness is ... Peanuts: Go Snoopy Go!

Jackie Hayes (second baseman)

Minter Carney "Jackie" Hayes (July 19, 1906 – February 9, 1983) was an American second baseman in Major League Baseball player for the Washington Senators (1927–1931) and Chicago White Sox (1932–1940).

John Olerud

John Garrett Olerud (; born August 5, 1968), nicknamed Johnny O and Big Rude, is a left-handed American former Major League Baseball first baseman. Olerud played with the Toronto Blue Jays (1989–96), New York Mets (1997–99), Seattle Mariners (2000–04), New York Yankees (2004), and Boston Red Sox (2005).

A patient, productive hitter throughout his career, Olerud won the American League batting title in 1993 and was runner-up for the National League batting title in 1998. Also a three-time Gold Glove winner, he was an excellent defensive first baseman and part of Sports Illustrated's "The Best Infield Ever?" cover in 1999 with Edgardo Alfonzo, Rey Ordóñez, and Robin Ventura, when he played for the Mets.

Logos and uniforms of the New York Mets

The New York Mets, founded in 1962, returned National League baseball to New York following the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles and the New York Giants to San Francisco. The Mets' uniform was designed to incorporate elements of both departed clubs, with the Dodgers' royal blue becoming the Mets' primary color and the Giants' orange the trim color, along with the Giants' "NY" crest adopted as the new team's cap logo. The original Mets uniform had a "clean and classic" look that, while it has undergone a number of changes over the course of the team's history, has never been substantially revised. The basic template has always been a conventional short-sleeved baseball uniform with "Mets" in script on a white pinstriped home jersey, and either "NEW YORK" or "Mets" on a gray road jersey, with the lettering and numerals in blue outlined in orange. The most notable variations were the "racing stripe" uniforms of the 1980s and early '90s, and the addition of black as a trim color along with black alternate jerseys and caps that were worn from 1998 through 2011. For 2012, in recognition of its 50th Anniversary, the club restored its classic look by removing the black trim from all of its uniforms and phasing out the black jerseys and caps. Since then the club has adopted blue alternate jerseys and caps, but has generally worn its primary uniform in most games, home and away.

Rick Darling

Warwick Maxwell Darling (born 1 May 1957), known as Rick Darling, is a former Australian Test cricketer.

His tendency to play the cut and hook shots provided much entertainment, but also meant that he was inconsistent and error-prone. It has been said that the introduction of the batting helmet saved Darling's life several times, but also gave him extra confidence to play his favoured shots. Darling's early Test career was also characterised by his opening partnerships with Graeme Wood, the pair christened the "Kamikaze Kids" due to their often disastrous running between the wickets, which saw one of the pair dismissed run out in one innings of each of their four Tests together.

Robert Szasz

Robert Szasz, also known as The Happy Heckler, is a real estate developer and has been a well-known heckler at Tampa Bay Rays baseball games for several seasons.

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Szasz relocated to Florida in 1984 and resides in Clearwater, Florida. He held season tickets for the then Devil Rays from 2000 until the end of the 2008 season, sitting in club seats behind home plate at Tropicana Field. He would choose one player from the opposing team to insult during a game or series, waiting until the player stepped into the batter's box before shouting a barrage of insults regarding the player's playing ability. Between the typically small and quiet crowds at Devil Rays game during the early 2000s and his booming voice, Szasz's heckling was often heard on television and radio broadcasts of the team's games.

Szasz's heckling visibly rattled players on multiple occasions. He once heckled the Mariners' Bret Boone so viciously that when Boone struck out, he threw down his batting helmet and started yelling back at Szasz. In another instance, outfielder José Guillén offered Szasz an autographed baseball bat if he would stop heckling him in a game. Szasz says he didn't heckle with profanity, nor did he insult a player about a personal thing such as weight or height. He says he tried to only heckle a player on their baseball ability. Although rare, Szasz also heckled opposing pitchers.

Szasz became a controversial figure. Some fans, television viewers, and media that covered the Rays complained about his volume and abrasiveness, while others enjoyed his heckling. In any case, he became one of the more famous fans in Tampa Bay Rays baseball history, and was known throughout the American League.In 2008, Szasz released a book entitled The Happy Heckler. Szasz did not renew his Rays season tickets for 2009 and was not heard heckling in Tropicana Field again until April 30, 2012, during a game against the Seattle Mariners.

Roger Bresnahan

Roger Philip Bresnahan (June 11, 1879 – December 4, 1944), nicknamed "The Duke of Tralee", was an American player and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB). As a player, Bresnahan competed in MLB for the Washington Senators (1897), Chicago Orphans (1900), Baltimore Orioles (1901–02), New York Giants (1902–08), St. Louis Cardinals (1909–12) and Chicago Cubs (1913–15). Bresnahan also managed the Cardinals (1909–12) and Cubs (1915). He was a member of the 1905 World Series champions.

Bresnahan began his MLB career as a pitcher. He also served as an outfielder, before becoming a regular catcher. For his MLB career, Bresnahan had a .279 batting average in 4,480 at bats and a 328–432 managerial win-loss record. Bresnahan popularized the use of protective equipment in baseball by introducing shin guards, to be worn by catchers, in 1907. He also developed the first batting helmet.

After retiring as a player, Bresnahan remained active in professional baseball. He owned the minor league Toledo Mud Hens and coached for the Giants and Detroit Tigers. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945 by the Veterans Committee.

Stan Johnson

Stanley Lucius Johnson (February 12, 1937 – April 17, 2012) was an American professional baseball player. He was an outfielder who appeared in eight games in Major League Baseball, 96 games in Nippon Professional Baseball, and over 1,500 games in the minor leagues during his 13-year career (1957–1969). Johnson threw and batted left-handed and was listed as 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall and 180 pounds (82 kg).

Born in Dallas, Texas, Johnson graduated in 1956 from Galileo High School in San Francisco. After playing baseball for one year at San Francisco City College, he received a baseball scholarship to the University of San Francisco.

He entered pro baseball when he was signed by the Chicago White Sox. In his second pro season, 1958, he led the high-level Western League in runs scored (120) and tied for the lead in hits (204). Two years later, he hit .333 with 172 hits for the Triple-A San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League. Each year, he was selected to his league's All-Star team.

Johnson briefly appeared in parts of two major league seasons. He got into five games as a member of the 1960 White Sox during that September's roster expansion. In his second MLB game and at bat, on September 23, 1960, against the Indians at Cleveland Stadium, he was called to pinch hit for White Sox star Minnie Miñoso in the ninth inning when Miñoso was ejected for throwing his batting helmet. Johnson belted a solo home run off Cleveland relief pitcher Frank Funk to seal a 7–0 Chicago triumph.The blow would be Johnson's only big-league hit. He began 1961 with San Diego, then was included in an eight-player June 10 deal between Chicago and the Kansas City Athletics. In three games with the Athletics, June 11–13, he started one game as the right fielder, but was held hitless in three total at bats.

Johnson then returned to the Pacific Coast League, but as a member of the Hawaii Islanders. He spent the next year in the Los Angeles Dodgers' organization, then joined the Boston Red Sox' system, where he played six years at the Triple-A level. In his one year in Japan, 1969, Johnson batted .242 with five home runs for the Taiyo Whales. He briefly scouted for the Red Sox in Northern California after his playing career ended.

He was married to Jacqueline Miles for 51 years, from February 12, 1961, until his death. Johnson died on April 17, 2012, at the age of 75 after a five-year battle with Parkinson's disease. He was survived by his wife, daughter Stacey Randolph of Missouri City, Texas, and son Stanley Johnson Jr. of San Francisco.

Tony González (baseball)

Andrés Antonio "Tony" González (born August 28, 1936) is a Cuban former professional baseball outfielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds (1960), Philadelphia Phillies (1960–1968), San Diego Padres (1969), Atlanta Braves (1969–1970) and California Angels (1970–1971).

A fine center fielder, González spent his best years with the Phillies. He had an average, though accurate, arm with excellent range. As a hitter, González batted for average with occasional power, drew a significant number of walks, was a good bunter, and had enough power to collect an above-average number of doubles and triples. He hit a career-high 20 home runs in 1962, and in 1963, he had career-highs in doubles (36) and triples (12), to place third and second in the league, respectively. In 1967, his career-high .339 average was second only to Roberto Clemente’s .357 for the National League (NL) batting crown, which also stood as second in MLB.

In his twelve-season career, González hit .286 (1485-for-5195), with 103 home runs, 615 RBI, 690 runs, 238 doubles, 57 triples, and 79 stolen bases, in 1559 games. Defensively, he recorded a .987 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions.

In the 1969 National League Championship Series against the Mets, González hit .357, with two RBI, one double, four runs, and one homer (off Tom Seaver). Following his MLB career, he played part of the 1972 season for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).

In total, González made about 5,800 trips to the plate over his big league career (about 4,600 — or 80% — of them against right-handed pitchers and the other 1,200 — or 20% — against lefties); so for his 12-season career, he averaged about 400 plate appearances per year against righties and 100 plate appearances against lefties. In total, González hit .286, with a .350 on-base percentage, and a .413 slugging percentage. But what is striking about him is that he exhibited a rather extreme platoon split during his career — that is, being a left-handed batter, he hit right-handed pitchers much better than he hit left-handed ones. For his career against righties, Gonzalez hit .303, with a .366 on-base percentage, and a .442 slugging percentage; against left-handers, these numbers were only .219, .288, and .299. Given that the 1960s were a time of reduced offensive output — due in part to a larger strike zone and 4-man (rather than 5-man) rotations — his performance against righties was exceptional, and if he would have had a right-handed hitting platoon-mate that could have covered his 100 or so plate appearances against southpaws each year, he might merit consideration as one of the best hitters of the decade.

During the 1964 season, González was the first MLB player to wear a batting helmet with a pre-molded ear-flap. He was in the NL top-ten in being hit by pitches, and the special helmet was constructed specifically for his use.

Twillingate

Twillingate is a town of 2,269 people located on the Twillingate Islands ("Toulinquet") in Notre Dame Bay, off the North Eastern shore of the island of Newfoundland in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The town is about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of Lewisporte and Gander.

Incorporated on September 30, 1965, the Town of Twillingate includes such localities as Back Harbour, Bayview, Durrell, Gillard's Cove, Jenkins Cove, Manuel's Cove, and Wild Cove. The Twillingate Islands provide an excellent sheltered harbour and easy access to the rich fishing grounds nearby. Twillingate Island is connected to mainland Newfoundland via the Walter B. Elliott causeway as part of Route 340. The town is also one of the oldest ports on the island. It was a historic fishing community, but because of the decline of the fishing industry, its economy now relies more on tourism. Locals have routinely spotted a batting helmet floating in its harbour while tourists flock to the area to view the seasonal icebergs.

Willie Wells

Willie James Wells (August 10, 1906 – January 22, 1989), nicknamed "The Devil," was an American baseball player. He was a shortstop who played from 1924-48 for various teams in the Negro leagues and in Latin America.

Wells was a fast baserunner who hit for both power and average. He was at his finest with his glove, committing almost no errors and having the speed to run down anything that came in his direction. He is widely considered the best black shortstop of his day. He also taught Jackie Robinson how to turn a double play.Wells was also notable as being the first player to use a batting helmet, after being hit and getting a concussion while playing with the Newark Eagles. (His first helmet was a construction helmet.)

He is a member of the baseball halls of fame in the United States, Cuba and Mexico.

Yount Monument

The Yount Monument is a public art work by artist Brian Maughan. It is located in front of the Miller Park stadium west of downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The sculpture depicts Robin Yount, a member of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, following through after taking a swing at a pitch. The figure wears a 1980s-style uniform with close-fitting calf-length pants, a button-front short-sleeved jersey and a batting helmet. The sculpture was dedicated on April 5, 2001.

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