Watching the M.L.B. playoffs and now World Series I challenge anyone who say that baseball is not a contact sport. The number of foul tips that rung the bell or or gave a mini concussion to catchers has been staggering. Umpires have also got a foul tip in the mask a time or two in the playoffs. However most of the time umpires get foul tips in the shoulder or legs. So it can be a physical sport not like hockey , football or rugby but when their are collisions at the bases they can be very physical. The nastiest collisions are at home plate were I have seen base runner or mostly catchers knocked cold or had a minor concussion.
You have to know i have a passion for the sport. I think it promotes great team building just like hockey in this great country of Canada. I have played till I was 14 and coached kids between the ages of 10-13. The strategy of the game is something you have to appreciate. Reaction time in catching up to a 90 plus mph fastball is a special talent. Throwing a baseball 90 plus miles an hour is just as special a talent. When you have the ability to hit , hit for power, run, field and steal bases that is a special player.
The batting helmet was a great invention. Their was only 1 death due to being beaned and his name was Ray Chapman in 1920. The beaning of a pitcher can be just as deadly and I hope a pitcher can wear a modified helmet while pitching in the next few years. This may not safe concussions but will save lives. When a pitch comes in 90 plus miles an hour it comes back at the fielder at 110-120 mph. So reaction time if the ball is hit that square for a pitcher is virtually nil. This game is great so let the baseball equipment and protection keep evolving. There is protection for the elbows and ankles with guards. The same regard should be given for head protection. One piece of equipment that is ever changing is the catcher’s mask traditional or hockey style.
I always loved pitching mostly because I could never hit. I never thought for a second about a line drive coming back to hit me in the head. However when a player gets into higher competition they should aware of their equipment options and stay safe to enjoy the game as much as they can for as long as they can. Injuries are apart of the game but you should not be afraid of them and play at the highest level you can.
By Ty Stingel
October 27, 2013