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What’s Up With Nick Ahmed’s C-Flap?

It wasn’t all that long ago that a player wearing a C-flap looked weird. But so many players wear the C-flap nowadays that it’s almost more notable to see a player going flap-free. But some C-flaps still look weird, especially the one worn by Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed. As reader Colin Wimbers recently pointed out to me, Ahmed’s flap is positioned at a really unusual angle. It’s almost parallel to the helmet’s brim! The shot above, from June 21, is particularly illustrative because you can see the difference between Ahmed’s flap and the more conventional one worn by teammate Jack McCarthy in the background.

Has Ahmed always worn his flap this way? Nope — here’s a look back at how his flap positioning has progressed (June 22 was his most recent game appearance):

To my knowledge, Ahmed hasn’t sustained any sort of facial injury in recent weeks, so I’m not sure what the flap adjustment is about. I emailed a D-backs spokesman — twice, in fact — but got no response. (Boooo!) Also asked my Twitter followers if anyone knew more about this — nope.

So now I’m asking my blog readership. Does anyone know more about Ahmed’s C-flap? And has anyone ever seen another player wearing his flap at this angle?

While we’re at it: Twitter-er @SteveinLC notes that Rockies outfielder Jurickson Profar appears to have differing C-flap angles on his primary and City Connect helmets:

Maybe there’s more random variation in C-flap positioning than I realized, and it just took an extreme case like Ahmed’s to make me more aware of it. Hmmmm.

Finally, repeating a Ticker item from a few days ago, reader Winn Roberton notes that Padres catcher Gary Sánchez’s C-flap was coming loose the other day:

C-flaps: Never a dull moment!

Comments (13)

    I think Jake Bauers had his C Flap come loose either Saturday or Sunday, and tossed it into the dugout so that he could finish his at bat. By the time he came up to the plate again that game, his was fixed

    I play adult baseball and put a C flap on my helmet a few seasons ago. The padding constantly rubbing on my lower cheek was annoying so I stopped using it. Guys aren’t throwing 100mph in my league, and I can still duck a high-hard one. But MLB’ers have more on the line. My guess is Ahmed doesn’t like the padding on his face as it’s offset from his face quite a bit

    Seems like he is losing a lot of peripheral vision wearing it like that. Maybe not so much during the AB (when he’s facing the pitcher) but running and on the basepaths. I assume he wears it when he’s on base.

    Yeah it’s such a narrow vertical field to pick up the pitch through. Weird.

    The new flap that Rawlings came up with last year is adjustable. It seems like he moved it to the highest position.


    That’s the new adjustable flap Rawlings came out with last year. Same with Gary Sanchez

    Right, but that doesn’t tell us why Ahmed changed the angle on his in the middle of the season, which is the whole point of this post.

    I wonder if it’s set up that way to ensure his stance and angles are correct. If he can’t see the pitcher’s arm, he knows he needs to make an adjustment.

    Not helpful for the question at hand but:
    The thing about the C flap that bothers me the most is the light blue foam color on the padding. It almost always clashes with the team colors of the person wearing the flap. Does anyone know why the padding is light blue or why equipment managers haven’t attempted to have the color changed or color in with a black sharpie or something?

    Thanks for looking into this further! By the way, it’s Williams; I just use “Wimbles” as a fun sobriquet online.

    Must be that the lower position of the padding bothers him too much when at bat.

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