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Thread: Update on the strange-looking helmets worn in the All-Star Game

  1. #1
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Update on the strange-looking helmets worn in the All-Star Game

    More than one player wore them, but here's one example.


    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Did you notice these batting helmets in the All-Star Game?

    Go faster jet stripes! WOOO

    Go Gators!

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    A Lost Ball In High Weeds shredda2000's Avatar
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    Re: Did you notice these batting helmets in the All-Star Game?

    Probably use them to keep cooler. Cooler heads means no more Kenny Rogers incidents

  5. #4
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Did you notice these batting helmets in the All-Star Game?

    Ahhh, look what I found. Paul Lukas' new Page 2 article on ESPN.com:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2...e=lukas/050714

    Forget about bragging rights, league pride, or home-field advantage for the World Series. If Major League Baseball really wants to increase interest in the All-Star Game, it should just do what it did a few nights ago in Detroit: Use the game to showcase a new uniform innovation.

    In case you missed it, Uni Watch is referring to the new batting helmets that were worn during the game. The new lids featured a molded crown, side vents, back vents, and slightly elongated earholes. And for good measure, they slapped the All-Star Game logo on the back (a bit of logo creep that Uni Watch is willing to forgive, since the new helmets, rather surprisingly, didn't feature the MLB logo). Think of it as the baseball version of the Riddell Revolution.

    Although a few players stuck with their regular helmets -- sometimes for rather obvious reasons -- Uni Watch estimates that about 85 percent of the players gave the new design a test drive.

    Interestingly, there was no advance promotion for the new helmets (not that Uni Watch was aware of, at least), and all the MLB and Rawlings bigwigs were still in transit from Detroit as Uni Watch's deadline arrived, so the full story behind the new design -- including whether it will be used for regular-season games -- will have to wait. But it's worth noting that this type of helmet isn't exactly new: There's an inexpensive Rawlings version that's been floating around the mlb.com site for a while now, and Wilson makes something fairly similar.

    But if these features become permanent additions at the big-league level, they'd definitely stake out new ground in the design gap between MLB helmets and caps. Most fans don't realize this, but when Pirates GM Branch Rickey introduced helmets in 1953, he envisioned them replacing caps altogether: He coated the fiberglass lids with wool flocking to simulate the look of a cloth cap and had his players wear them in the field -- even pitchers. That experiment was short-lived, as players went back to wearing caps in the field and helmets were relegated to the batter's box (occasional exceptions like Dick Allen and John Olerud notwithstanding). But the flocked helmet, with its fuzzy, matte finish, became something of a Pirates trademark for a while, and occasionally showed up outside of Pittsburgh too.

    The notion of helmets simulating caps was shattered for good with the development of earflaps, which debuted in 1964 and probably looked as weird back then as the All-Star helmets do now. But at least earflaps are functional -- the features on display at the All-Star Game seem more like a transparent attempt to look edgy. Uni Watch can live with the extra vents (although, seriously, how much extra ventilation do you need for something that's only worn for a few minutes at a time?), but the molded shape looks totally bogus. And before some GM gets any bright ideas, let's get a preemptive restraining order to make sure nobody uses the new shape as an excuse to do something like this.

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    Member smith288's Avatar
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    Re: Did you notice these batting helmets in the All-Star Game?

    I like the wool helmets...bring them back!

  7. #6
    Hot Stove Season HotCorner's Avatar
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    Re: Did you notice these batting helmets in the All-Star Game?

    Homer: Hey, what are all these holes?
    Salesman: These are speed holes. They make the car go faster.

  8. #7
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: Did you notice these batting helmets in the All-Star Game?

    While watching the game, my son and I noticed them immediately. There were a few guys that chose not to wear the new style helmet (Vlad Guerrero was one that I noticed).
    "Booing on opening day is like telling grandma her house smells like old lady."--WOY

  9. #8
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Did you notice these batting helmets in the All-Star Game?

    Paul Lukas just issued an update on those weird-looking helmets. It looks like these may eventually become the norm...

    Remember those new batting helmets that appeared without warning in the All-Star Game? Deadline and schedule pressures restricted Uni Watch to giving the story only partial coverage last time around, but here's a fuller treatment, courtesy of Rawlings marketing manager Dan Cullinane. "The new design is similar to the retail version of our Coolflo helmet," he says. "It incorporates some of the design aspects of that while keeping with the silhouette of the basic MLB helmet. We'd been previewing it to teams for the past few months before the All-Star Game, and we found that 80 percent to 90 percent of the players really liked it."

    Cullinane says the new helmet's venting makes it about 13 percent lighter than the standard version. As for the sort of reptilian-looking molded crown, of which Uni Watch is none too fond, it's essentially a branding move. "MLB doesn't allow outside logos on headwear," says Cullinane, "so this gives us the opportunity to kinda put our mark on the helmet without actually using the Rawlings logo."

    So when will the new lids be showing up in regular-season games? "We have plans to have them worn in 2006, but things aren't settled yet in terms of the rest of this season," he says. "Certain players from certain teams are interested in them, but we don't have a huge inventory of these helmets yet, and there are lots of things that still need to be settled with the MLB office, the players' association, and so on."

    Will this design eventually replace the standard helmet? "That would be my hope, yes, although it's way too soon to say," says Cullinane. "MLB generally grandfathers changes in, like they did with the earflap in '83, so it would probably be a gradual thing."

    Help stamp out, eliminate, and do away with redundancy.

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    Re: Update on the strange-looking helmets worn in the All-Star Game

    i doubt these get grandfathered in, because unlike the earflap, the new helmets serve no practical safety purpose

  11. #10
    NastyBoys1990
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    Re: Did you notice these batting helmets in the All-Star Game?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2844
    Homer: Hey, what are all these holes?
    Salesman: These are speed holes. They make the car go faster.


    love that

  12. #11
    All dyslexics must untie!
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    Re: Update on the strange-looking helmets worn in the All-Star Game

    seriously, how much extra ventilation do you need for something that's only worn for a few minutes at a time?
    OTOH..."air-conditioned" hockey-goalie masks for catchers/umps--there's a market for 'em
    Never overlook the obvious

  13. #12
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Update on the strange-looking helmets worn in the All-Star Game

    Quote Originally Posted by butlerbulldogs
    i doubt these get grandfathered in, because unlike the earflap, the new helmets serve no practical safety purpose
    Unless there's money to be made for MLB, then all bets are off.

    If anything, I'd think these would reduce the structural soundness of the helmet. No way a helmet with vent holes in it offers as much protection as a solid helmet.
    /r/reds

  14. #13
    Just The Big Picture macro's Avatar
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    Re: Update on the strange-looking helmets worn in the All-Star Game

    Ready or not, here they come. Check out the paint job on this Mets helmet from Spring Training this week. Are they really going to wear these in a regular season game? What do you think of them? (By the way, isn't this bunter in danger of getting a finger broken?)


  15. #14
    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Update on the strange-looking helmets worn in the All-Star Game

    And that is why relievers should not take BP, at least closers.

    I have no real opinion on the helmet, right now.

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  16. #15
    Member Jpup's Avatar
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    Re: Update on the strange-looking helmets worn in the All-Star Game

    I'm guessing they are just for Spring, but I could be wrong. They look awful.
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