In the early days of baseball, players didn’t wear an helmet at all. According to the MLB, it wasn’t required till 1971. Since then, the baseball helmet began to evolve. In 2007, base coaches also required to wear an helmet.
In 1920 Ray Chapman died due to Carl Mays pitch. Since then players and teams began to hesitate to introduce stricter safety rules, but this would take decades to become integral, because players that wear an helmet thought they looked weak. Others thought extra equipment like an helmet was distracting and too heavy so they risked their life to play like their way.
After two decades in 1941, the Brooklyn Dodgers required players to play with an helmet. This was the first team to do this. They did this because two players got serious injured. The helmets were designed like a regular baseball hat, but with protective plates inside. It didn’t have the protection like nowadays but it was a step in the right direction.
Around 1950, the first version of a hardened batting helmet introduced. Several big players began to use this helmet. More players and even coaches began to see the importance of head protection, they also began experimenting with new possibilities. Branch Rickey, the Pittsburgh pirates general manager designed his own reinforced head protection.
In 1956, the National League obligated that all batters must wear the Ricky-style cap. The American League followed in 1958.
In 1960, the strong molded helmets we use today grew in popularity.
In 1971, the MLB obligated players to wear helmets. Then in 1983, face-protecting flaps became required on one side. Some players choose to wear them on both sides. Since then people focused on improving the weight, to make the helmet stronger and more breathable.
First introduced in 2013, the MLB currently uses the S100 PRO COMP series batting helmet. Made of aerospace-grade carbon fiber composite, it can withstand the impact of a 100 mph pitch. This is much stronger than the 68 mph tested on past models.
The batting helmet is worn by batters in a game of baseball/softball. Batting helmets protects the batters heads for mistaken pitches thrown by the pitcher. You have a jawguard (also known as earflaps) on one side depending on what side you’re on when you’re going to hit the ball. If you’re batting with you’re right hand (RHB) you need to have the jawguard on the left side and when you’re left hand batting (LHB) you need you’re jawguard to be on the right side.
The coach helmets are worn by the coaches on the first and third base. They wear the helmets for protection from balls that batters hit. The coaches don’t have jawguards but they wear an headphone underneath.
The pitcher helmet is for extra protection for the Pitcher, but a pitcher helmet is not mandatory to wear. The most people only wear there game cap.
Helmets are made from different kind of materials. The outside is most of the times made of ABS thermoplastic shell and sometimes with an carbon fiber finish. The padding on the inside is made of iMpax – high performance Impact absorbing foam. This foam disperses force forming a barrier for the ultimate protection. This padding is Fabric-wrapped liner treated with antimicrobial to kill unwanted bacteria and odors.
To determine your size you need to measure the circumference of your head. With this information you can determine your helmet size, but watch out, different brands uses different sizing.
Some brands sell one size fits all. This is split up in 2 categories: Senior (adult) and junior (youth)
A baseball helmet or softball helmet is always unisex. There isn’t a women’s helmet or men’s helmet. There only is a difference between junior helmet and senior helmet. Junior is for kids with the size between 6 – ½ - 7 1/8 and senior is above this size.
A batting helmet needs to be approved by NOCSAE for use in the most youth, high school and adult leagues. This is a company that has the mission to enhance athletic safety trough scientific research.
There also is an SEI certificate. SEI oversees the NOCSAE standards certification process through several accredited, independent laboratories that are responsible for testing to determine if products meet NOCSAE standards. SEI also conducts regular product testing and on-site quality assurance audits at each NOCSAE licensee’s production facilities to ensure continued compliance.