Alex Cobb Line Drive Injury Results in Technological Solution

Alex Cobb is a pitcher for Major League Baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. During a June 15, 2013 game with the Kansas City Royals, Cobb’s top of the fifth inning pitch to Eric Hosmer resulted in a line drive which hit Cobb on the right ear. The head shot dropped Cobb to the ground where he, although writhing in pain, never lost consciousness.

Cobb was treated by medical personnel and then carried off the field on a stretcher. He was taken to the St. Petersburg Bayfront Medical Center where he received testing and scans to determine the severity of the injury. Tests came back normal and Cobb was diagnosed with a concussion and released from the hospital the following day where he remained on a concussion watch for seven days.

The head injury resulted in Cobb missing two months of action, but he eventually made his return appearance on August 15, 2013. Although Alex Cobb was fortunate not to sustain permanent, long-lasting problems from his injury, other pitchers in the game succumb to life-threatening and career-ending head injuries from such incidents.

Cobb’s head injury sparked MLB in January 2014 to approve a padded cap insert protector called isoBLOX for use by players on the field. The isoBLOX cap liner contains protective pads for the sides of the head, temples and forehead that are designed to withstand line drive blows of between 85 and 90 mph.

The cap is not mandatory and most players still refuse to wear them, mostly due to macho attitudes, even though line drives to the head are fairly common. Recently, Brandon McCarthy sustained a fracture to his skull as well as a brain contusion in 2012, Doug Fister was hit in the head during a World Series game the same year and J.A. Happ of the Toronto Blue Jays also received a skull fracture from a head shot in 2013.

Alex Cobb has since endorsed the isoBLOX protective cap insert for use by baseball youth. He hopes that his efforts to promote the protective wear in early life will prompt more of them to use it when they enter Minor and Major League play. Cobb also seeks for continued technological advancements that will further safety while lessening game play interference.

With baseball becoming more aggressive, technological advancements making balls fly faster and big career paydays being based on staying healthy, it makes sense to protect one’s health from childhood onward in order to participate in and enjoy the game for as long as possible.

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References

1. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1674242-alex-cobb-sustains-scary-head-injury-after-being-hit-with-line-drive

2. http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/06/tampa-bay-rays-alex-cobb-pitcher-head-protection-mlb

3. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/protective-cap-approved-mlb-pitchers-article-1.1594040

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