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Why is John Olerud wearing a batting helmet while fielding his position?

Question #51074. Asked by philsgirl.
Last updated Oct 09 2016.

Answer has 8 votes
Currently Best Answer
24 year member
2366 replies avatar

Answer has 8 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
It started after an accident back in 1989:

Of all the current major leaguers, Olerud is the only one who wears a batting helmet at his position in the field, excluding those ever-endangered members of the catching fraternity. Olerud’s choice of headgear stems from a near tragic incident he endured during his college years; while attending Washington State University in 1989, Olerud suffered a brain hemorrhage and an aneurysm during a morning workout. Though he recovered, doctors advised him to wear a protective batting helmet while playing first base or pitching (he was a two-position player in college), in order to protect against line drives and collisions with baserunners that might result in contact with the skull.
By now it would probably be safe for Olerud to discard the helmet in favor of a soft cap, but matters of habit and superstition have compelled him to continue wearing the hard hat at all times throughout his professional career. While he is the lone active major leaguer to wear a helmet in the field, he is by no means the first to do so in the history of the game. It’s happened from time to time over the past 50 years, dating back to the first team that made full-temple helmets a permanent addition to their inventory of baseball equipment.


Response last updated by Terry on Oct 09 2016.
Sep 19 2004, 4:48 AM
Answer has 2 votes

Answer has 2 votes.
Yay, gtho4! 'habit and superstition' are hard to get away from.

Sep 19 2004, 5:04 PM
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