Jake Burger was caught off guard last year. And he had the social media post to prove it.
Not this time around.
Appearing on the 'Baseball Isn't Boring' podcast, the White Sox infielder revealed the issues he ran into thanks to the Major League Baseball mesh spring training hats a year ago, and how he is approaching it in the coming weeks.
Jake Burger is not happy with the hats
"Last year, I didn’t really know the damage it could do to my head being a bald guy," he said. "I applied sunscreen to my head thinking that would be enough and low and behold … I mean, you’re out there five or six hours a day in spring training, so I didn’t reapply enough and ended up with a really cool sunburn on the top of my head that took about half a season to correct. I still probably have a little showing back there. I thought I would have fun with it on social media. I didn’t realize it was going to blow up the way it did. People Magazine picked it up, which was crazy. People Magazine picking it up? There was no way. It was funny because my wife was the first one that noticed it and would give me crap about it all the time. I finally posted and it blew up.
"Sure enough, they decided to go with the trucker hat again. I do suspect that they will send me a full hat this year that will be on my seat because they don’t want a repeat from last year. ... That’s all I cared about in the CBA. Spring training hats.
"It was funny. Last year I played first base in one of the games in spring training and the first base coach for the Rangers came up to me, fellow bald guy, and he was like, ‘They didn’t give you a full-covered hat.?’ I didn’t even know that was an option. I’m locked in the dark here. But I’m trying to protect the scalps of all the fellow players out there."
So, what's the plan? Copious amounts of sunscreen ... and preseason preparation.
"It’s packed ready to go," Burger said of the next-level SPF skin protection. "I have been wearing a mesh hat every single day so it’s not burn, it’s just tan."
Besides the issues with the spring training hats, Burger also dives into a variety of topics on the podcast, including his mission to help mental health among professional ballplayers and how Joe Kelly fixed his swing.