n what's likely the most significant step yet toward protective headgear for pitchers, 12 or more major-league hurlers will soon begin testing padded caps.
ESPN.com's William Weinbaum reports that MLB has signed off on protective cap liners designed by Unequal Technologies, and now the next phase of testing can commence. Here's how Rob Vito, president of Unequal, describes the new product:
Vito said Unequal's padding for each cap weighs 4.3 ounces, is one-eighth of an inch thick and is made of a three-layer synthetic composite that includes military-grade DuPont Kevlar and a polymer with the properties of rubber. He also said Unequal could mass-produce the cap padding and sell it as an insert for about $60 apiece retail.
Unequal's protective liner, Weinbaum notes, is one of five such products presently being developed in conjunction with MLB.
The drive toward protecting pitchers from line drives comes after Brandon McCarthy suffered a life-threatening skull fracture in September. His injury, of course, is only one of many such gruesome examples. These, then, are obvious and necessary steps to take.