The Coastal Plain League announced today that the league as a whole will follow Major League Baseball in requiring their first- and third-base coaches to wear helmets during games beginning with the upcoming 2008 CPL season.
“We feel that this is the best idea to help protect our coaches,” said League President and Commissioner Pete Bock. “This decision was made following the MLB general managers’ meetings and after we discussed it with our body earlier this week at our meetings. We feel it is important to follow Major League Baseball’s lead here and we think it will help us even more in providing a safety-conscious environment for our coaches each summer.”
The announcement follows the tragic death of Mike Coolbaugh, the first-base coach of the Tulsa Drillers – the AA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. Coolbaugh was struck in the neck by a line drive while coaching at first base back in July and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The CPL is awaiting investigative reports regarding the particular helmet the coaches should wear and will announce that at a later date.
The Coastal Plain League is the nation's hottest summer collegiate baseball league, heading into its 12th season. Featuring 14 teams playing in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, the CPL is certified by Major League Baseball, and gives college players the chance to refine their skills with wooden bats during the summer months. Players are housed with local host families for the summer and past experiences have been very positive for both players and hosts. For more information on the Coastal Plain League, please visit the league website at www.coastalplain.com