Part of the reason batters wear helmets with earflaps nowadays is the unfortunate incident that happened to Red Sox star Tony Conigliaro back in 1967. Just two seasons removed from leading the league in homers as a 22-year-old, the outfielder was smashed in the face by a Jack Hamilton pitch, crumpling to the ground with a broken cheekbone and a damaged retina. His career lasted a few more productive years before he was forced to retire due to worsening eyesight.
At the same time his baseball career was taking off, he was signed by RCA Victor to a recording contract and made a few appearances on the Merv Griffin show, as evidenced below:
Fast fact: In Italian, Conigliaro means "rabbit". And in Gaelic, Mervyn Griffin means "rich dead closeted queer".
(video obtained thanks to the Classic Television Showbiz blog)