LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL
NEW YORK — Creighton Hale, who in the late 1950s invented a batting helmet that gave Little League Baseball players better protection and who later rose to the top ranks of the organization as it grudgingly accepted girls, died Oct. 8 in Williamsport, Pa., where the league has its headquarters. He was 93.
When Dr. Hale, a physiologist, arrived at Little League as its first director of research in 1955, he began to compile data that he hoped would improve the safety of the game. He measured reaction times of pitchers, which led to moving the mound back 2 feet to reduce the frequency of their being hit by batted balls. Taking the pulse rates and blood pressure of players, coaches, and managers before, during and after Little League World Series games, he determined that youngsters handled competitive pressure better than the adults.
His analysis of injuries led to changes like eliminating the on-deck circle, where players were at risk of being hit by foul balls.
To develop the helmet, Dr. Hale wanted to simulate the pitcher-to-batter confrontation. He built a compressed-air cannon with parts he had bought in a local hardware store. Working from his laboratory in the basement of Little League’s offices in Williamsport, he used the cannon to fire baseballs at various speeds at a plastic helmet mounted on a wood model. Testing showed that it could absorb a direct hit from a ball traveling at 90 miles per hour without cracking or being driven into a batter’s head.
The helmet also had a flap on each side to protect the temples, ears, and cheekbones. It became mandatory for Little League batters and runners in 1961.
In the 1970s, Dr. Hale was chairman of a committee of the National Academy of Sciences that developed a new military helmet made of Kevlar.
A native of Nebraska and Navy veteran, Dr. Hale graduated from Colgate University in upstate New York, earned a master’s in physiology at Springfield College in Massachusetts, where he taught for five years and worked on military research, and received a doctorate in physiology from New York University.
The T on Monday will advance a sweeping proposal to remake a central component of the system that impacts nearly every rider: how we pay for rides.Continue reading »
Manson was the mastermind behind the 1969 deaths of actress Sharon Tate and six others.Continue reading »
Of the ripples from Donald Trump’s 2016 splash, Brown’s ascension to ambassador ranks among the most unlikely. And, for the former US senator, the most fortunate.Continue reading »
If you’re looking to avoid the traffic jams over the Thanksgiving holiday (and who isn’t?) this data can help you plan your trip.Continue reading »
Despite allegations by an intern, a special agent in the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation office in Boston has not been charged with any crimes.Continue reading »
A sleek, relatively new vaping device called a “Juul” has school administrators sending warning e-mails home.Continue reading »
The 5-year-old service dog came into Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes’ lives after they were injured in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.Continue reading »
One test of the method showed a 60- to 90-percent decline in mosquito populations with no discernible downside.Continue reading »
Four students attend Harvard University, two go to MIT, and one Mass. resident attends the US Naval Academy.Continue reading »