I had the honor of checking the eyes of the USA College National Baseball team and will work with them again this year. Click here to read more about the team.  Although I can't write about the particulars of their eyes, baseball is a game of statistics, and in my book, See To Play, I discuss how elite athletes see better than average athletes. I also talk about ways for athletes to improve those visual traits which are average or weaker.

Another big factor in an athlete making it to the top from a vision standpoint is that you need to start checking it out at an early age.  Click here to read an article on middle school recruiting in basketball.

2012 marks the first year baseball is not an Olympic sport.  I hope we bring it back for the kids! (oh yeah, and me too!)
Roger Clemens has been acquitted on charges that he lied to the Congress about not using performance enhancing drugs.  Now the question becomes: Will he make it into the MLB Hall of Fame even though the public court of opinion believes he was probably one of the many users in what’s being called baseball’s steroid era? And, will writers elect other presumed users into the  HOF when they become eligible?

It may be hard for steroid players to make the HOF, but it may be even harder for those who need to wear glasses.  I recently read an article that stated there are only two baseball players who wore glasses while playing and later made the HOF, Chick Hafey and Reggie Jackson.

I’ll start the eyeglass debate today!  Roids vs Glasses: Who has a better chance making it into baseball’s Hall of Fame?

In my book, See To Play, I note how almost 40% players are weeded out of making into the professional level in their sport because of their eyes.  Now, I find out  it’s even rarer to make it to Cooperstown. 

(Click here to read an article that states that only 3% of baseball players in the majors wore glasses through the years of 1871-2003.)

Mark McGuire wore contacts while playing and has also been a presumed PED user in baseball.  Does that make his chances exponentially harder to make it into the HOF because of both of those factors?

Baseball is a game of statistics.  Read See to Play to make the playing field equal!

Welcome, Washington Nationals, to the world of See To Play!

In the two exercise chapters in my book, See To Play, I discuss how to use the Nike Vapor Strobe glasses.  I also talk about using a strobe light if the expense of the glasses are too much for your budget. 

I've used strobe light exercises in my practice for over 20 years.  Strobes add visual noise which forces athletes to use more concentrate when watching objects, like a baseball during batting practice. We've used this training with the athletes of the NHL Carolina Hurricanes since 1997.

Recently, the use of strobes have made it to Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals.  They have noticed a big benefit to this type of training.  Click here to read an article about the Nationals use of Nike Vapor Strobe Glasses.

NBA player Kevin Durant wears his eyeglasses with a prescription out of necessity.

NBA player Lebron James wears his without a prescription for a fashion statement.

MLB player Josh Hamilton states he wears his sunglasses for hitting out of necessity.  He claims the bright sunshine decreases his ability to see a baseball during day time games and causes his batting average to decline.  He's ditched them since and a recent study seems to find the statistics are a wash between night and day games for blue eyed hitters.

MLB player Freddie Freeman couldn't wait to get his new glasses so he could see to play.  That sounds like necessity to me.

So, who was the first MLB player to wear eye glasses?

Will White was the first to wear eye glasses in major league baseball from the years 1878-86.  He was a pitcher. (I've noticed the majority of the professional baseball players that I've help with contacts are pitchers.  That's not a professional study, just an observation.  Read See To Play to learn more).

Specs Toporcer was the first non pitcher to wear glasses in the 1920's while he played for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Growing up as an eye glass wearer and a Cincinnati Reds fan, one of my favorite spectacle wearing players of all times is Chris Sabo. He was a part of the World Series Champions in 1990.  (Click here to see the cool goggles that were available on the market at the time when he played.) 

And of course, who can forget that Mr October, Reggie Jackson, wore glasses as well!

I'll end this blog on one last note.  An elephant in a North Carolina zoo had cataract surgery and may wear contact lenses. Wow! I hear the questions starting now:
           Nerd or Necessity?
           What elephant started the trend?

Kevin Durant wears his eyeglasses so he can see.  They have become such the rage in NBA fashion this year that some players chose to wear them even without a prescription.

I blogged about this earlier and started a conversation on my facebook page.  Was I the trend setter back in my high school by wearing my Kurt Rambis glasses? (Turns out I wasn't. John Van Meter and Lawrence Neselrodt wore them before I did and we're still searching the archives.)

So, with the NBA finals starting tomorrow, I beg to ask a similar question: who was the first player in the NBA to wear eyeglasses when playing?

The answer: George Mikan. This 6' 10" legend played for the Lakers and played with glasses even before the NBA formed as a league.  Here's a pic:

Dick Vitale (@DickieV) tweeted today, “More I think about it that 2 nd pick 4 Bobcats would have me sleepless – tough choice – Drummond scares me – has Potential – MKG is winner.”

Normally (as all of you that follow my blog know….and thanks!), this is where I would step in and say that’s easy:  pick the player with the biggest detailed vision zone.

But, in light of the big trend in the NBA, I’d say:

NBA teams: Pick your guy by his NBA Nerd glasses!

Again, another day on the elliptical at the “Y” and ESPN did not disappoint.  Fashion Friday.  (Click here to see the piece).

What we learned:

1)      Ubiquitous….gotta love a big word starting out a “Conversation on Eye Glasses”

2)      Kevin Durant needs a prescription.  Must mean he wears contacts while playing. (Amar’e Stoudemire as well)

3)      Eye Glasses are so hot that most guys wear them without prescriptions.

4)      Samantha Rubin said it started in the fashion magazines “a couple years ago” but Ric Bucher said he saw it in the NBA guys “4 or 5 years ago”….Seems to me that says Jocks leading the trend instead of the fashion folks.

5)      Watches are being toned down as glasses are turned up.

6)      Nerd only glasse now….are being accessorized by Bling! Bling! (that’s what I’ve told my optical to stock more!!)

7)      Geek Sheek!!

8)      Hannah Storm looks great.

Picking a draft choice by how much court he sees at one time (which is a measurable quantity known as his detailed vision zone) is logical.  Some players see more of the court than others. This is a measurable trait that athletes exhibit.  I describe it, teach athletes/people how to measure it and how to expand it in my book, See To Play.

But, until I get the word out and people understand it (MONEYBALL), it sounds as nutty as picking the better draft choice by the eye glasses he chooses to wear (whether the glasses have a prescription or not). 

The problem is for those of you learning about this:

1)      Many of the same aged basketball guys who dreamed of playing in the NBA have already been weeded out due to their eyes.  They’re not in this conversation.  (Kevin Durant made it because he probably addressed his eyes at a younger age.)

2)      The more elite the athlete, the larger the detail vision zone.

SEE WIDE FOR CHAMPION SIDE VISION….that’s Chapter 3 in See To Play: The Eyes of Elite Athletes

Click here to watch an elite athlete talk about side vision.