Professional athletes continuously seek out ways they can improve their game and gain advantages on their opponents. Even the smallest tweaks – an adjustment in training style, advances in equipment technology, new health supplements – can help athletes yield notable gains.
Many professional baseball players have turned to vision correction as a way to gain an edge on the field. Because it really doesn’t matter how strong, fast or technically sound you become – if you can’t see what’s happening around you, you’re in trouble.
In fact, professional baseball players have been having laser eye surgery since the mid-1990s, with one of the first examples commonly pointing to former AL Rookie of the Year Bob Hamelin, between the 1996 and ’97 seasons.
Let’s take a look at three MLB players who have turned to LASIK to help them gain a competitive advantage.
Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals/New York Mets/Philadelphia Phillies
After mixed results with wearing contacts for a season, Ramos elected to take his vision to the next level and have LASIK in March of 2016. The outcome? Spectacular. Ramos went on to hit .307 with 22 home runs and 80 RBIs, and these were all new career highs. What’s more, Ramos believes the procedure helped him improve his “plate discipline” and the ability to discern between different pitch types.
“When it comes to being on the field, recognizing pitches, looking at the board at night…everything is so much clearer,” Ramos explains. “It becomes a lot easier, and I’m able to identify those pitches much better before they come rocketing in.”
Jeff Bagwell, Houston Astros
This legend of the Houston Astros wore contacts for the first nine seasons of his MLB career, but he was never quite satisfied with them. While contacts are a great option in many conditions, he had trouble with them on the field. As he himself puts it, “When you wear contacts, you see 20/20, but you don’t see 20/20 all the time. They move, and you experience the dust that’s in your eye on the contacts. I tell people I think I lost 50 at-bats a year because of that…and that’s a lot.”
Prior to the start of the 2000 season, Bagwell decided to have LASIK and went on to post career highs in home runs (47), hits (183) and runs (152) that season.
Greg Maddux, Chicago Cubs/Atlanta Braves
By the time he opted for LASIK in July of 1999, Greg Maddux, like Bagwell above, was already a confirmed superstar, but the pitcher’s poor vision left much to be desired.
Following several seasons in the big leagues, he had switched to contacts after growing tired of wearing his trademark glasses, but that merely led to constantly rubbing his eyes on the mound. This forced him to immediately remove the contacts once completing a start, and while he may not have believed he was going to be a better pitcher because of LASIK, he enjoyed quite the successful run following the procedure.
“I see better now, and I’m aware of experiencing a much wider field of vision,” Maddux told the AP shortly after his procedure.
Whether you’re playing in front of thousands in a major league stadium or playing with your kids in the front yard, you deserve the benefits and convenience LASIK can provide. If you are interested in improving your performance on the field or at the office, schedule your LASIK consultation with Matossian Eye Associates today.