Morneau Stresses Use Of New Rawlings Batting Helmet For Safety Against Concussions
Twins 1B Justin Morneau last season said that he “almost certainly would wear a batting helmet designed to withstand significantly greater impact than the helmet most players wear” after he suffered a season-ending concussion, according to Kelsie Smith of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Rawlings is the official helmet provider for MLB, and Morneau this spring has been wearing the Rawlings S100 helmet, named because it “can withstand an impact of up to 100 mph.” The Rawlings Coolflo helmet the “vast majority of big-leaguers wear protects up to around 70 miles an hour, a speed surpassed by virtually every pitch thrown in the majors.” Morneau said, “If you walked up to someone who doesn't know that, I think they'd be shocked to find out that their helmet is rated for a Little League pitch compared to a big-league fastball. I'm sure Major League Baseball and the union won't be happy with me saying that, but I think they should just change it so everybody can wear it. Number one, it wouldn't look out of place, and number two, everyone would be safer." MLB Senior VP & General Labor Counsel Dan Halem said that the league is “trying.” MLB last year “mandated the S100 helmet across the minor leagues first for safety and, second, in hopes that by wearing the helmet at a younger age, players will grow accustomed to them and continue wearing them once they make it to the big leagues.” Halem: "We want players to wear the safest equipment possible. It's like anything, they just have to get used to it.” The MLBPA “must agree to a change of equipment,” and Halem said that the two sides “certainly will discuss that” as baseball's CBA talks advance. But Smith noted “few players have chosen to wear it on a daily basis” (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 3/21).