Rawlings new S100 batting helmet is built to withstand a pitched baseball traveling up to 100 miles per hour. The batting helmets currently used by major league players can be compromised at speeds of 70 m.p.h.
The S100 is more protective, but it’s also far bulkier. Some players say they would refuse to wear the helmet because of its appearance. “I am absolutely not wearing that,” New York Mets right fielder Jeff Francoeur told the New York Times. “We’re going to look like a bunch of clowns out there.”
But San Diego Padres second baseman Edgar Gonzalez will try anything. He was hit in the head by a 93-mile-per-hour fastball three weeks ago, and he still feels dizzy when he lies down. “I would wear anything,” he said. “I don’t care how goofy it looks.”
Even if major league players refuse, Rawlings is hoping high school, college and minor league players will start using the more protective S100.