I "make" my son (12) wear a chest protector (heart guard) when he plays baseball (hardball). Do you know if it is actually necessary? He did get hit last year and we all heard the clunk so were pleased he was wearing it. It is uncomfortable and doesn't stay in place. He is a trooper. Any suggestions?
mechanicalme's mom


True story ...

by admin - 2007-05-02 09:05:52

I volunteer for Heartbeat International, a charity that provides lifesaving implantable devices to patients in developing countries. One of our patients received a pacemaker at a young age, which saved his life. On his way home from school one day, he was shot in the chest. The pacemaker stopped the bullet and saved his life a second time.

I tell this story to demonstrate that devices are strong. They are made of titanium so a baseball should not harm the device. I would be more worried about leads being broken. If a chest protector give you peace of mind, have him continue to wear it, atleast when he is at bat.


RE: bats (not the animal)

by valerie - 2007-05-03 06:05:26

Woah, that’s a pretty cool story you got there Blake. Thanks for sharing :)
They should make a pacemaker jingle: “We shock and block”

Anyway, I was wondering, is his pacemaker on his “power-arm” side (his front hand coming down on the ball)?
The reason I ask this is b/c if he’s a right-handed batter, and his pacemaker is on his right side, it would be less likely that it would get hit by a wild pitch (since his left side would be more exposed to the ball coming at him). And it’s the same concept if he bats left, yet paces on the left….hmmm, I confused myself, lol. Sorry.
I played varsity softball, so I can see how it would be uncomfortable while playing. To me, it would seem that wearing this guard would slow actions down a bit…making it harder to maneuver, which makes it harder to get out of the way of a wild pitch or some sudden play in the game; especially since you say that it doesn’t stay in place.
But, I’m not too sure….I never really saw one before up close, so I could be wrong. My apologies in advance.

Anyway, I’m glad to hear that he’s participating in sports and is doing things he likes; good for him! And I can tell that he’s in good hands with such a caring/loving mom. :)
Please keep up posted.
Take care and good luck on the next game!


by mechanicalme - 2007-05-04 08:05:24

Thanks Blake, I actually heard the bullet story once before - interesting. He does bat right and the pacer is on the left., Valerie.
I wonder if he really needs it? If he pitches again I will insist on it but maybe for fielding and batting he would be okay. Thanks for the advice.


by kmcgrath - 2007-05-15 10:05:53

My $.02 as the father of 2 college baseball players is that at 12 years old it's probably not an issue but if your son wants to compete at the high school varsity level and then move on to college ball, the chest protector may impede his ability to progress. As he faces faster pitches it may slow down or mess up his swing and depending on what position he plays in the field it may also impair his ability to field.

All players take risks playing any sport and even though he may have extra protection around his pacemaker location, what extra protection does he have over other parts of his body?

However if he can still perform at a high level in all aspects of the game wearing the protector then more power to him.


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My pacemaker has ultimately saved mine and my unborn child’s life for which I am thankful.