CLEVELAND-The wrong hat can be a fashion nightmare. Just ask Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor.
Lindor walked to home plate in the first inning Sunday wearing the wrong batting helmet.
A switch-hitter, Lindor had on the helmet he usually uses when he hits left-handed — with a protective flap on the right side. But he was facing Kansas City left-hander Danny Duffy and was going to hit right-handed.
Lindor apparently was the only player on the field who didn’t realize what was taking place.
“I guess everybody was screaming at me,” he said. “Everybody noticed but me. I had no idea. Once I went to the plate, I felt a little light. It comes to find out I didn’t have any ear flap on the left side of my helmet.”
Lindor credited Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas with perhaps the biggest play of the game.
“Moose started screaming at me,” Lindor said. “I looked at him. He touched his ear. I thought I had my earrings on, but I had the wrong helmet and the wrong leg guard. I had everything wrong.”
Lindor exchanged helmets with a bat boy, switched the leg guard and smiled when he returned to the batter’s box. He was still trying to figure out what happened following the game.
“I knew it was Duffy,” he said. “I knew it was a left-hander pitching. I just didn’t have the right gear.”
Lindor flied out and later extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with two singles and a double. He’s batting .476 (30 for 63) with eight home runs and 15 RBIs in the streak.
Helmets with flaps on the side facing the pitcher have been mandatory for all players making their major league debuts since 1983.