Alex Torres of the San Diego Padres made history June 21 when he became the first player to wear the new, MLB-approved isoBLOX® Protective Cap in a regular season baseball game. Torres unexpectedly donned the protective hat when called to the mound by manager Bud Black in the top of the eighth inning that Saturday night at Petco Park. The actual cap worn by Torres that night has been donated to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York for preservation in posterity.
The standout Venezuelan middle reliever and the Padres donated the cap, which made its exhibit debut this week as part of the “This Year in Baseball” case of the “Today’s Game” exhibit, featuring highlights from the 2014 season. The Museum takes in about 30 artifacts annually from the major league season to celebrate the accomplishments, milestones and historic events of the current campaign.
“The protective elements incorporated into the cap worn by Alex Torres during the 2014 season shows how the game’s equipment continues to evolve,” said Brad Horn, vice president for communications and education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “As we document the game as it happens through artifacts, his cap represents an important moment in baseball’s changing technology to protect the player. While it is a highlight of this season in baseball, the cap’s significance will continue to show how baseball equipment has evolved throughout the years.”