The media has placed a lot of attention on the National Football League for reports of the dangers of concussions and other severe head injuries dealt to thousands of current and former players. Now, the media’s attention is shifting to Major League Baseball for similar reports of concussions. According to USA Today, there have been 18 instances of major league teams placing players on the disabled list due to head injuries or concussions this year.
The statistic is five more than all of last season, and seven more than in 2011. The concussion seven-day disabled list was first established in 2011, according to USA Today. Approximately 10 of the 18 incidents this year have involved catchers. Recently, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer suffered a concussion due to a foul ball that bounced off his mask, according to CBS Sports. Others who have suffered concussions this season include Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila and New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine.
A player who sustains a concussion may also suffer from postconcussive syndrome, a debated but defined condition that follows a minor head injury, according to MedScape. There isn’t a universal definition for postconcussive syndrome, but existing literature defines it as “the development of at least 3 of the following symptoms: headache, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, impaired memory and concentration, insomnia and lowered tolerance for noise and light,” according to MedScape.
Although the MLB’s medical director told USA Today that the number of concussions in baseball has not increased this year, he said that the minor and major leagues have been more proactive with the injuries. The NFL’s issues with lawsuits stemming from brain injuries have created more awareness for players of other sports, such as baseball.