Giancarlo Stanton will be playing the 2015 season with a face guard on his batting helmet. And it is quite simply awesome.
— MLB (@MLB) February 26, 2015
Stanton will become the first baseball player to wear a personalized face mask. He will be wearing a carbon fiber mask designed by Schutt, a company better known as a manufacturer of football helmets. Stanton decided to make the investment after a gruesome injury last September where his jaw was shattered by a fastball.
For a player set to earn $325 million over the next 13 seasons, I would say it is a pretty good investment.
The face guard is a departure from the simple extension shield worn most recently by Jason Heyward. In the past few years, we have seen a proliferation of custom face masks in the NFL. I think it is a great idea for baseball players to wear a custom face guard on their helmet. Don’t think for a second that there would not be hundreds of Little Leaguers lining up to buy a custom Giancarlo Stanton face guard.
Stanton has already tested the shield against the impact of a fastball. It does not look like much, but he was please with the results, and unveiled the shield yesterday for the first time. If this new lightweight, sleek design catches on, I would not be surprised if more players began following in Stanton’s footsteps. Hockey has made great strides in the use of visors in its game, and with the rising concern surrounding concussions and player safety, baseball should follow suit. It only takes one loose fastball to cause a potentially life-changing injury.