During separate exhibition games on Saturday night, the two players knocked the ball out of the park while wearing masks

By Maria Pasquini
July 19, 2020 03:00 PM
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Clint Frazier and Didi Gregorius
| Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images; Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

These major league baseball players are proving that wearing masks on the field won’t hamper their ability to get big hits.

During separate exhibition games on Saturday night, New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier and Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius managed to knock one out of the park while wearing protective face coverings.

Frazier, who is the only member of the Yankees to consistently wear a mask on the field amid the coronavirus pandemic, went deep in the fourth inning, hitting the ball all the way into the upper-deck of Citi Field, the home of their cross-town rivals the Mets.

Extending the Yankees lead by two runs, the team went on to win the game 9-3.

Facing off against the Washington Nationals, Gregorius — who signed with the Phillies last year after previously playing with the Yankees — didn’t waste any time, hitting a homer in the top of the 1st inning.

The team went on to win the face-off 7-2.

Frazier, 25, has repeatedly noted how wearing masks on the field does not impact his ability to be effective, calling it “easy” to do. He has also emphasized that wearing a mask behind the plate is especially important, given his close proximity to the catcher and umpire.

“There are people in our organization that I’m trying to be respectful toward, and I’m just trying to overall do the best part that I can and make sure that our team does stay healthy,” he said last week, according to NJ.com. “I want to make sure that I’m not the reason why it spreads to anybody and that I can play if it does get spread to someone else.”

Three of Frazier’s teammates – closer Aroldis Chapman, star infielder DJ LeMahieu and pitcher Luis Cessa — have tested positive, although LeMahieu has since returned to the team and hopes to be ready to play by Opening Day later this month.

Gregorius, 30, has also been open about his reasoning for wearing a mask on the field, telling reporters that he suffers from a chronic kidney condition.

“I had a really good conversation with the doctors here, and they said I was one of the high-risk players and everything,” Gregorius said last week, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “So, that’s why people see me walking around with a mask on and stuff. I am keeping myself safe, wearing a mask everywhere I go. So, I have to keep it on me all the time.”

A number of other MLB players have also been photographed wearing masks while practicing, including Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos. Additionally, several players have already opted to sit the season out over health concerns, including Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, and Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond.