First to Use a Helmet: Roger Bresnahan
After getting beaned by a ball, the New York Giants’ Bresnahan was the first player to experiment with wearing a batting helmet in 1905. It was an awkward device—similar to an inflated boxing glove wrapped around the head—created by inventor Frank Mogridge. (Batting helmets would not become mandatory until 1971.) As a catcher, Bresnahan would introduce far better protective gear to the game, including shin guards and padding for catcher’s masks. During his 17-year career, Bresnahan played all nine positions with several teams. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.