After J.A. Happ took a line drive to the side of the head, people instantly started revisiting the “should pitchers wear helmets” question again. It’s a valid question and definitely some sort of head protection needs to be considered for the future. By the time a pitcher finishes his windup and has released the ball, he is nearly 10 feet closer to the plate than the 60 feet 6 inches he started out at, and has about a third of a second to react to the ball coming off of the bat.
There have been quite a few pitchers that have taken hits to the head. There has been at least one incident a year since 2008.
*Warning, some of these are tough to watch.
2013 – Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ
2008 – Padres’ Chris Young was hit in the face on a line drive by Albert Pujols.