Why Willie Harris Wears a Double-Flapped Helmet

If you’re anything like me, and I know I am, you might have wondered why Willie Harris wears a double-flapped batting helmet at the plate. Harris is a lefthanded hitter, making his helmet choice a relative oddity: Switch-hitters are usually the only batters to favor a double-flapped model, as they can protect both ears with one helmet. (The Phillies’ Shane Victorino and the Padres’ Orlando Hudson are two examples of switch-hitters who use the little league helmet, while the Indians’ Shin-Soo Choo is the only other monodexterous double-flapper I am aware of.) Harris explained his choice yesterday:

“I fouled a ball back,” said Harris. “It hit the catcher in the shin guard, came up and cut my ear.”

It was September of 2001, and Harris was a 23 year old rookie with the Orioles. “My first big league game,” he said. “I’ve worn it ever since.” Harris added that he had worn a double-flapped helmet in the minor leagues, as is the requirement — making his major league debut the first and only time he’s ever worn a single-flap helmet in his professional career.

Mystery solved.

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5 Comments

Filed under Mets, Words

5 responses to “Why Willie Harris Wears a Double-Flapped Helmet

  1. I’m often very entertained by the irrelevance of your posts. From a lifelong Mets fan…thank you.

  2. I think it’s a great post. Everyone always seems to wonder about it, nice to know the story behind it.

  3. Nice post. Now, if we could figure the mystery as to why he can’t hit major league pitching anymore…

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