Padres reliever Alex Torres is the first pitcher to wear a protective cap in a major league game.
Torres used the oversized gear when he worked the eighth inning of a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night. There was little on-field reaction.
"There really isn't that much difference between this and a regular hat," Torres said. "It may not look great, but I can't feel a difference."
Torres said he's had the cap, approved by Major League Baseball in January, for about a month. He said he tried it on while playing catch on a few occasions before finally wearing it in Saturday night's game.
The cap is a half-inch thicker up front and an inch thicker on the sides than standard caps, according to ESPN. Its “plastic injection molded polymers combined with a foam substrate" are said to offer protection against a 90 mph hit to the front of the head.
Asked why he decided to wear it in a game, Torres said: "If it can save your life, why wouldn't you? I'm not worried about how it looks if it works."
Torres, 26, was with Tampa Bay last season when Rays pitcher Alex Cobb suffered a concussion when he was struck on his right ear by a line drive on June 15.
"That's a scary thing to witness and it makes you think that could be you," he said.
Check out another view at the cap below: