San DiegO Padres reliever Alex Torres will be forever remembered as a pioneer, of sorts. Last night against the Dodgers, he debuted the padded hats that have been developed for pitchers to help combat the seeming epidemic of line drives hitting them in the head.

We'll be honest; aesthetically, they look awful:

While we don't doubt the health benefits of having something like this on, there have to be legitimate concerns that the preposterous design of the hat may be enough to keep people from wearing it. Honestly, it looks like they'd be better off wearing a batting helmet. It looks like a cartoon where somebody is truing to smuggle something under their hat.

It will be interesting to see how many (if any) pitchers join in on the hat-wearing experiment now that the first player has taken the leap. Hopefully, somewhere there is also a more streamlined, decent-looking model being designed too.

[via ESPN]