This day in baseball: The first batting “helmets”Posted: March 7, 2014
On March 7, 1941, during Spring Training, Brooklyn Dodgers Pee Wee Reese and Joe “Ducky” Medwick both slipped plastic inserts inside their caps during an exhibition game. The previous year, in 1940, both men had missed playing time do to injury after being hit by pitches. This is believed to be the first instance of players wearing protective headgear when going up to bat. Major League Baseball would not make helmets mandatory until 1971.