White Sox star Yasmani Grandal changes gear to better protect himself behind the plate: 'It was a no-brainer' Fox Business Flash top headlines for October 26
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Two-time MLB All-Star Yasmani Grandal knows the dangers that come with being behind the plate as one the best catchers in baseball.
The Chicago White Sox star has done everything he can to protect himself from batted balls and the like and that included switching gears — literally. Grandal donned the Force3 Defenders Mask to protect his head from the impact of the baseball if and when it does come in contact with his head. He also invested in the sports gear company, Force3, after feeling the difference the mask made in his game.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXBUSINESS.COM Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros slides safely past the tag of Yasmani Grandal #24 of the Chicago White Sox to score during the 3rd inning of Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park on Oct. (Bob Levey/Getty Images / Getty Images)
When asked why he decided to join the Force3 team, he credited the product.
"I tried it and I saw where I can go and what it can do so I just went ahead and I went for it," Grandal told FOX Business. "Everything that [Force3 founder Jason Klein] told me was that obviously, our mask is the star of the show because everybody likes it but nobody’s really got in to try out the whole gear and the whole gear is amazing. Once I did that, it was a no-brainer."
Grandal pointed to the spring technology in the Force3 Defenders Mask as one of the key difference-makers.
MLB LEGEND KEN GRIFFEY JR. JOINS MARINERS OWNERSHIP GROUP Yasmani Grandal of the Chicago White Sox is pictured wearing a special Jackie Robinson commemorative chest protector as he walks in from the bullpen prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians. Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day (Ron Vesely/Getty Images / Getty Images)
"It reduces the impact of the ball. Every other mask, they tried to make it lighter because guys were saying how their necks would hurt and different things and all of a sudden by making it lighter it exposed them to getting hurt more often and then they try to go back and reinforce those masks and it doesn’t quite work just like ours," he said. "Obviously, ours have the spring technology whereas that ball hits you, you don’t feel anything. It’s a game-changer for sure."
To the untrained eye, it wouldn’t seem as though catchers get hit in the head by the ball all too often. Grandal explained to FOX Business he could be hit up to five times a game in some cases.
"It depends. It could be four or five times in a game or it could be one or two days you don’t get hit but you’re definitely getting hit a lot throughout the week — let alone a month, let alone a whole year. It accumulates," he said.
Force3 has partnered in recent years with the likes of Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball, the South Atlantic League, Eastern College Athletic Conference, the Sunbelt Baseball League and the Amateur Baseball Umpires’ Association in recent years in hopes of offering a high-quality product with the proper protection as well.
Yasmani Grandal of the Chicago White Sox in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates during inter-league play at PNC Park on June 22, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images / Getty Images)
Grandal just wrapped up his second season with the White Sox. He spent some time on the injury list with a knee issue, something he told FOX Business he was rehabbing from right now.
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In 93 games, he hit .240 with a .939 OPS and 23 home runs. He caught 80 games this year for the White Sox while also spending some time as the designated hitter and playing eight games at first base. He caught 12 runners stealing and only allowed seven passed balls.
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