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Hitting Fear

Posted by: Major Dan (markj89@charter.net) on Fri Aug 23 09:46:17 2002

In the 2 years since face masks were adopted (I watched a lot of games during that time), I don't remember a single player getting hit in the face mask. My oldest son doesn't remember one either.
> > > > >
> > > > > However, in the year before they adopted the face masks, I saw my son's teamate get hit in the face by a pitch that I think first glanced his helmet. It wasn't a pleasant scene and while he did try coming back a few games later, he never got comfortable and soon quit baseball. That was too bad, because I thought he had some talent.
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> > > > > This year, I saw a 12 year old short stop get hit in the face on a bad bounce, and it broke his nose, but he was back playing the next game wearing a helmet with a face mask and he seemed to field fine.
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> > > > > We seem willing to take extra steps to protect our young kids in other areas of life, such as in learning to ride a bicycle by making sure they wear a helmet. Why shouldn't we take extra precautions in baseball with the players facing their first live pitchers? So what if they don't look like the major leaguers.
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> > > > > When my oldest son was 10, he threw a baseball to me when I wasn't looking and it hit me in the face. It took me about a year before my teeth quit hurting. This year, he hit a line drive back at me and hit me in the thigh. Even though it hurt, it was nothing in comparison to getting hit in the face.
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> > > > > I don't think that having a face mask will make young players so careless that they won't want to learn how to dodge a pitch. It is even hard to teach a catcher not to turn his head when a pitch hits the dirt before it crosses the plate.
> > > > >
> > > > > Even though I enjoy baseball more than other sports, the danger aspect of baseball gave me pause when I was considering letting my 9 year old face live pitchers. It made me wonder how danger I am willing to allow him to be in for the sake of a game. The face masks helped a lot and I think I see a higher percentage of batters at ease because of it.
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> > > > > > The face mask will prevent facial injuries. However, it also allows the hitter to never learn how to turn away from the ball. Do you see many kids get hit in the face mask?
> > > > > > I have this horrible image of hitters padded up like hockey players and fielders with shin guards, elbow pads, face masks and chest protectors. Maybe a permanent pitching screen in front of the pitcher as well.
> > > > > > Then everyone will be safe, nobody will get hurt. But it won't look like baseball either.
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> > > > > > >Our league switched to helmets with face masks for both the 9-10 and the 11-12 years olds a couple of years ago, and I think it was a very smart move.
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> > > > > > > I especially don't like inexperienced 9 year olds facing a hard throwing 10 year old pitcher. But I think face masks give all young players more confidence and makes baseball more fun for everyone (players, coaches and parents).
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> > > > > > > Sometimes I even wonder if 9-10 year olds shouldn't wear them in the field too.
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> > > >
> > > > I appreciate your concerns and you are probably right. At the extreme other end, we see pros with armor batting fearlessly and it is changing the game. Bonds, Vaughn, etc. with elbow armor leaning into the strike zone with no fear of being hit, not even moving out of the way, just taking a free base as the ball bounces off the armor.
> > > > I know its a totally different situation. And I'm sure it would help young players feel safe.
> > > > But when do the kids wean themselves of facemasks in the field? at the plate? or do they just keep wearing them into HS and college and eventually the pros?
> > > > I can see the value of safety in the lower younger leagues. Do you think these precautions will carry over or is there a plan to outgrow them?
> > > > I see the trend going toward armor ball. Its gradual but its headed in that direction. Maybe this is two different issues. I don't know...
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> > > To all
> > >
> > > You know I always suspected that the people who post to this site were guys who failed and are trying to make up their failures by being "macho" men. But, I could never put my finger on that one sentence or statement that would prove it.
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> > > So here comes a parent looking for some help for a kid who is afraid and out pours all the macho man solutions and made up crap by guys who just make it up as they go along.
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> > > Parents do you feel comfortable reading these answers? These guys are responsible for the safety of your kids when they are on the field. These 'men' will put your kid in the hospital trying to prove how "brave" they are.
> > >
> > > Jack, I think you should separate yourself from these "experts" and point out that they are just "guys" who have no special knowledge or experience, in fact it looks like the oppsite is true.
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> > > It's one thing to give stupid and uneducated information about hitting mechanics. Even a macho man is entitled to an opinion. But giving this kind of advice on a saftey issue is dangerous.
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> > > F. J.
> >
> > Frank-
> > if you could understand what you read, your posts would make more sense.
> > if you didn't want to fight everyone at every turn, you might be better accepted.
> > if you knew what you were talking about, someone might listen.
> > go back to JoeA, CLauJr, and other imposturators and cry to each other.
> > I gave some good advise about how to help the young player deal with fear of the ball.
> > I also brought up the other end of the issue - increased armor at the higher levels.
> > I ALSO made a distinction between the two.
> > Perhaps long paragraphs and multiple sentences confused your understanding. Why don't you try rereading the entire thread and get a clue, you j***a**.
> Frank, you made some valid points, but all I hear in response are personal insults. Kind of like politics, when someone doesn't have the facts to back them up they resort to personal attacks. Sad thing is, though, this site is not supposed to be a political campaign, it's supposedly a site for sharing ideas in an intelligent & civil manner. Oh well, I guess some people think the kids don't matter.
> >

You are in good hands with Frank as your advisor. I'm sure he'll guide your son to be the best he can be. I'll stay out of the way. Keep us posted as you progress up the ladder of success.


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