Welcome to another installment of Imperative Baseball Debate, in which you and I will discuss the pressing baseball matters of our day. The questions we ask here are staggeringly important and carry with them enormous consequences. As such, the debate can sometimes become heated and even turn violent. I urge you to remember that we share the same objective: to find an answer.
What is, or was, the greatest wearable accessory in baseball history?
The most obvious example of what I'm talking about here would be Chris Sabo's goggles. Sabo won a World Series ring. He stole 46 bases one year. He hit 26 home runs another year. For a few seasons, he was a pretty damned good player. Doesn't matter, because he's the goggles guy.
Presumably, Sabo was preparing for a contingency in which he would have to build a bookshelf at a moment's notice, and, if allowed, surely would have dragged a table saw in tow. Would he have been a few milligrams lighter and a negligible bit faster had he ditched the goggles? Or was he such a good player because the goggles ensured that he never got either of his eyes poked out?
In either case, it's an outstanding accessory, but I'm going with a dark horse: Kevin Seitzer's face protector thing. (You can see it in the third photo here.) After being hit in the face with a pitch on two different occasions, Seitzer had to wear this thing for a little while. Apparently he took a liking to it, because he wore it long after he no longer needed to.
He looked like he was from the future. The face protector looked like some sort of mouthpiece on a communication device, and one got the impression that he was discussing with his cyborg manager whether to steal 5.42nd base or simply deploy Hologram-Seitzer.
Everyone else on the diamond was playing baseball, but Seitzer looked as though he was playing some sort of stick-and-ball hybrid while wearing that thing. Like he was about to throw down his glove, throw the ball to the right fielder with a bounce-pass, and proclaim, "WICKET!"
There have been plenty of other phenomenal accessories worn by baseball players, however. Robotic-looking elbow protectors, Army-issue glasses, et cetera. What is the best of them? If you'd like your voice to be heard in this tremendously important debate, you can either respond in the comments below, or tweet me at @jon_bois.
Together, as always, we will find an answer.