In July 2007, former Toronto Blue Jays player, Mike Coolbaugh, died after being struck in the head by a line drive baseball while coaching a Tulsa Drillers game.

According to a report on the Driller’s website late Sunday, Coolbaugh was knocked unconscious and administered CPR on the field, but died in the ambulance in route to the hospital.

Coolbaugh, a husband, and father of 3 became a coach with the Tulsa Drillers earlier in the month not so much for the job itself, but because his little boys loved to see him on the baseball field.

His life revolved around baseball. He spent his youth mastering the sport and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays (16th Overall) in 1990. He played third base and bounced around the minors until reaching the major leagues for the first time in 2001 with the Brewers. He played 39 big league games that season and five for the Cardinals in 2002. He hit two home runs in 82 major league at-bats.

Mike Coolbaugh’s brother, Scott, also played in the major leagues over four seasons with Texas, San Diego and St. Louis.

“Mike came from a baseball family, and was a part of a baseball family,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “On behalf of all of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest sympathy to his wife Mandy, their children and all of their family and friends.”

This tragic accident reminds us that the players are not the only ones at risk during baseball games and practices. A foul ball is just as dangerous as a line-drive hit directly at the pitcher. Awareness on and off the field doesn’t always provide protection. Sometimes the things we do not see coming are the most devastating.

Ball Cap Liner provides an additional level of protection from the unexpected. It could be the difference between celebrating a win with your team or spending a night in the emergency room.

Accidents, like Coolbaugh’s, are what led us to develop Ball Cap Liner. We could not stand by as more players, coaches and bystanders were at risk of serious, life-changing injury. All it takes is one simple measure (wearing your Ball Cap Liner) to avoid a trip to the hospital, or worse.

Protecting families is and will always be our priority.

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