San Diego Padres relief pitcher Alex Torres became the first Major League Baseball pitcher to wear a protective cap over the weekend.
The league approved the bulky-looking headgear meant to protect against the impact of line drives to the head, and Torres ignored the jeers of his teammates as he made history during a Saturday evening game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It could save our lives, if someone hits a ball to your head,” Torres told MLB.com. “I get it for free so, I’m just gonna use it to see how it feels.”
Torres entered the game in the 8th inning, giving up one run, one hit and two walks while also striking out two before the Padres lost 4-2. He said he didn't think the new cap impacted his pitching.
The hat, which looks a bit like a stylized T-ball helmet, was designed by IsloBox and approved by the league in January. The hat is designed with padded sides to absorb the impact of a ball to the head. Torres said he decided to wear the hat after seeing Tampa Bay Rays’ pitcher Alex Cobb get hit in head during a game last year. At the time, Torres played for the Rays. On Sunday, Cobb told Fox Sports he thought his former teammate’s decision to wear the hat was admirable.
''He's wearing the MLB one? That's cool. That's cool," Cobb said. "It was out there for somebody to be the first person to do it.”