Baseball history was made on June 22 when Alex Torres of the San Diego Padres became the first MLB pitcher to wear a protective cap in a major league game. While it does look funny, this odd-looking cap serves a purpose in protecting the head, when a ball is hit sharply back to the pitcher. If you don’t believe me, just ask MLB players Brandon McCarthy, Juan Nicaiso, Alex Cobb or Aroldis Chapman as they have all been struck in the head or face by baseballs while pitching.
My question is, do we care more about Alex Torres and these players than our own East End artists and writers? On August 16, these creative people will be playing in the 66th Annual Artists and Writers Celebrity Softball Game at Herrick Park in East Hampton—and they need protection.
MLB pitchers and players are highly trained athletes that have spent years perfecting their craft, and that includes honing their reactionary skillset. On the other hand, artists and writers have day jobs that keep them from practicing on a regular basis. Admittedly, a softball is less intimidating than a baseball, but it can definitely deliver some serious harm.
These caps are designed with additional padding to absorb the impact if you’re hit in the head. They are a bit funny looking, but we’re talking softball, not fashion. Actually, it would be a good idea to require all players in this year’s softball game to wear the new headgear.
Now that I think about it, maybe the fans should be required to wear them as well? You never know where a foul ball may land.
An argument could be made that in the 65 years this game has been played no softball has caused serious trauma to the head of any player or fan. But that only means one thing to me—they have been lucky. Sooner or later some type of injury is bound to occur.
In case you’ve never attended the actual Artists and Writers game or the pre-game party held the night before, some pretty big names participate in this local classic. And, of course, you never know when a former president of the United States might show up.
With the eyes of the world on the Hamptons, can we really afford to take a chance with an injury to one of our assets? I think not. Let’s get these hats ordered and protect our players and fans alike.
Look for more information on the game in upcoming editions of Dan’s Papers, or search “Artists and Writers Charity Softball Game” on DansPapers.com.
This year’s event benefits Phoenix House Academy of Long Island, Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center, The Retreat and East End Hospice. If you can’t attend, I am certain a donation would still be appreciated.