Thursday marks the start of a new era in baseball helmets, although the public will have to take baseball's word for it. While the new, more protective Rawlings S100 model is being made available to all big league players, it is unlikely you'll see a player wearing one.
"You never want to say never, but I've used the same helmet my entire career and I don't see a need to change," Mark Teixeira said. He has seen the headgear, introduced and discarded last week by David Wright. "They're so big and uncomfortable, you can't have that on your head when you're batting," Teixeira said.
His teammate Jerry Hairston Jr. was unaware of the helmet, which is said to provide protection against a ball traveling as quickly as 100 miles per hour.
"If they're making it safer, I wouldn't be opposed to it. I know a lot of guys got hit in the head this year. A good buddy of mine, Micah Owings, just got hit in the head," said Hairston, who once was beaned in spring training.
Still, he won't be among the first to wear one. "I've worn my helmet for 10 years or so," he said.
Gabe Gross of the Rays said Wednesday: "I would not be averse to trying them. I would bet a lot of guys would put them on and see how they feel, but I would bet probably not a lot of guys would wear them in a game, especially this year."