Nutshellz To The Rescue When Yadi Returns From DL

High Ridge-based company will provide bullet-proof groin protectors to the St. Louis Cardinals catchers.

Brett Blume
May 09, 2018 - 1:37 pm
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) is checked out by teammates and a trainer during the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium.

(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

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HIGH RIDGE, Mo. (KMOX) - The St. Louis Cardinals have turned to a locally based company to protect catcher Yadier Molina from the type of injury that has laid him up for a month.

They've purchased Kevlar-enhanced athletic cups from a High Ridge-based company called Nutshellz for Yadi and all of the team's catchers.

Related story: Yadier Molina To Miss 1 Month After Surgery

Company founder and CEO Jeremiah Raber tells KMOX that he came up with the concept about five years ago when his favorite MMA fighter lost following a kick to a vital area.

"And just over time it evolved into a cup that has bullet-proof materials," he explained. "That won't crack from gunfire, or baseballs, or hockey pucks."

That's right -- he said "gunfire."

An online description of the product's material reveals that Nutshellz contain Kevlar, carbon-fiber, and "ultra high molecular weight polyethylene and aero-space epoxies."

The company claims that ballistic tests have confirmed that even a 9 mm bullet can't penetrate its level 2 groin protector.

But protection that can stop gunfire doesn't come cheap  -- the level 1 protector goes for around $100 apiece, and the level 2 for about $125.

Raber said it's worth it, pointing to recent recalls of some of his competitor's plastic cups that broke under pressure.

Next up for Nutshellz is launching a line exclusively for young athletes.

Raber wants to protect youth from the type of injury that Molina suffered during last Saturday's game, which led to surgery and a month on Injured Reserve.

"You know, you could quite likely lose both testicles, if it hits square," he says. "And if that happens, then testosterone production is gone, you know, it just causes all sorts of problems."

The product has already been used by other Major League Baseball players on the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians. 

So would a Nutshellz product have better protected Yadi from the devastating injury he suffered when struck by a foul tip?

"Oh for sure!" Raber exclaimed. "One of the things about Nutshellz is that it's a little more anatomically correct so it has a narrower taper than most cups. It's covered by a patent that allows it to go further between the legs so it doesn't impede movement back and forth."

To learn more about Nutshellz, visit armorednutshellz.com.