New York Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli is taking a lot of ribbing from his teammates about the new super-sized helmet he’s wearing. But he doesn’t care if he looks funny. After sustaining two concussions, he is opting for safety over vanity.
At spring training in Tampa, Fla., Cervelli spoke plainly to The Star-Ledger of Newark. “Big leagues, my friend,” he said. “I’ll do whatever it takes to stay here forever.” http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2010/03/ny_yankees_catcher_francisco_c_2.html
Cervelli, a back-up catcher, has started to wear a big, bulky batting helmet. It is like a helmet that Mets player David Wright donned after he got a concussion. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/al/2010-03-11-3455119442_x.htm
The old-style helmets last summer failed to protect both Cervelli and Wright from pitches that can reach speeds of 94 mph. Just last Saturday, Cervelli was hit in the head again. He was given an OK by a neurologist, but will now be wearing the new helmet.
Yankee Joe Posada is now calling Cervelli “The Great Gazoo,” a Martian on “The Flintstones” that wore an enormous green helmet. Good natured humor. We hope that everyone in baseball realizes that vanity should never come before brain safety.