The C-Flap is a protective piece of plastic that you can attach to a baseball batting helmet which extends over the cheek and jaw to help prevent injury, without obstructing the player’s vision or airflow. It mounts to the ear flap of the helmet and covers the side of the face that’s exposed to the pitcher.
According to a recent article on ESPN, the C-Flap is positioned for a breakout season this year because of changes in player behavior. For years, a player would wear additional protective covering on the helmet only after they’ve been hit in the face by an errant pitch. In a weekend game not too long ago, for example, Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs left the game after being hit in the head with a pitch.
A new generation of players, however, are wearing the C-Flap to prevent injuries before they happen, not after. High profile players like Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, and Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera are among those who’ve started using the C-Flap. But they’re not the only ones as numerous players across Major League Baseball (MLB) have begun wearing the unassuming accessory.
The shift in behavior is resulting in the C-Flap becoming more and more ubiquitous. The C-Flap is not only changing the look of MLB headgear, it’s also becoming a standard component of baseball helmets. There’s a strong chance these days that you’ll see at least one MLB player wearing a C-Flap during a game. “I saw some Atlanta Braves players sporting the C-Flaps at a recent game,” enthused Paul Driese, Program Manager at EG Quality Way.
EG Quality Way started making the product for Dr. Robert Crow in the fall of 2001. The company at the time was known as C-Flap. Dr. Crow called it by that name with the “C” standing in part for his last name and “cheek.” In 2004, the company was sold to Markwort Sporting Goods. With more and more players being flapped (i.e., wearing the C-Flap) proactively and defensively instead of reactively, there’s a strong chance you’ll be seeing the protective piece of plastic the next time you’re watching a game on TV or out in the ballpark.