Baseball Coaches May Have To Add A Helmet

Thursday, November 8th 2007, 9:41 pm
By: News On 6

Major League Baseball is taking steps to protect coaches from dangerous line drives. Team owners say base coaches will wear some type of head protection starting next season. The News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports batters in Major League Baseball have been required to wear helmets since 1971. After Tulsa Drillers’ coach Mike Coolbaugh was killed during a game this past season, many believe it would make sense for coaches to wear helmets, as well.

Mike Coolbaugh was a member of the Drillers coaching staff for three weeks when he was killed in a tragic accident. Coolbaugh died July 22 when he was hit while he stood in the first base coach's box during a Texas League game at Arkansas.

"What happened last summer with Mike Coolbaugh was a tragedy. The only thing that would be a bigger tragedy, is to stand back, not do anything and watch it happen again here in the near future,” said Brian Carroll with the Tulsa Drillers.

Major League Baseball general managers want to do something to prevent a similar tragedy. They've decided that first and third base coaches will wear some sort of head protection during games next season. It's being welcomed by many who worked alongside Mike Coolbaugh.

"Who knows, it may be a long time before the situation comes up again, but at least by doing this the coaches are in a much safer condition. Much safer atmosphere and hopefully will prevent a tragedy like last summer,” said Brian Carroll of the Tulsa Drillers.

Major League general managers will decide on the exact form of protection when they meet next month at their winter meetings.

"There has been some talk with the base coaches of wearing helmets without ear flaps or even protection that fits under the cap that they normally wear,” said Brian Carroll with the Tulsa Drillers.

Whatever the style or fit, it's hoped the decision serves a common purpose when the players play ball.

"Hopefully this will help prevent anything like this from happening on down the road,” said Brian Carroll with the Tulsa Drillers.

The Drillers believe the helmet ruling will also apply to coaches for minor league teams. By the way, the Mike Coolbaugh fund is still open and taking donations for his family, including the new baby.

Donations can be made to Spirit Bank locations in the Tulsa area.

Watch the video: Major League Baseball May Require Helmets