30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Face Masks for Baseball Pitchers

I've recently had a discussion with an anonymous person on what I believed was a relatively educated group on a message board. It's isn't your regular type message board, you have to pay to be a part of it.

I opened the discussion with the idea that the National Federation should pass a rule that high school baseball pitchers should be forced to wear masks, just as softball pitchers do. I am not sure what the rule for softball pitchers is, but it is more readily acceptable for girls to wear them than for boys. Call it testosterone, call it whatever you want, but it is perceived as a negative in boys is seen as weak.

That's why I believe a rule should be passed. Because people won't do it voluntarily, it isn't manly. And it's just plain stupid.

Someone made snarky comments that all athletes should be in bubble wrap, that the bases should be made of marshmallows, etc. because there is an inherent risk in all athletics. I could not agree more. But if helmets for hitters is ok, helmets on football players are ok,, and just about every other improvement in safety, why not face masks for baseball pitchers?

There isn't a good reason against them. The most common argument that someone used was that it "wussyifies" our nation, that we have gotten too soft. I wonder if this person (I don't know) ever pitched, I wonder if this person has ever seen a baseball traveling over 150 MPH hit a person in the head and heard the sound it makes?

It's not pretty and I would be willing that the first time it happened to his son or grandson, his beliefs would probably be different...maybe not.

But the excuse that it makes our country soft to attempt to minimize injury when doing an athletic event is not valid.

If so, I guess seat belts have done the same thing. Call me soft, but I'm putting it on every time I drive even if the odds of me being in a wreck are slim.