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About kylejt

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  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
  1. I've got a couple of the original TOC maroon shirts in my bag. And aside from one of my Junior umpires far too large choice in undershirts, I think they look pretty snappy. Of course like anything decent TOC ever produced (remember their excellent long sleeved shirts?) they've been ditched for stars 'n stripes ball bags, and camo designs that were rejected by third world countries.
  2. The main reason you see all the different shades, in my opinion, is the price of the original Honig's polywool. When you factor in tax, shipping and having a shop hem them, you were talking a C note for a pair of drawers. Most folks needed 4 to 6 pair, if they were working a lot, so that's a good chunk o' change. Enter the competitors, and their solutions pictured above. If we had black pants, we'd all be a little closer to being uniform, no matter what offshore factory made your pants.
  3. The trouble is, of course, that we're such a small market that it doesn't make $en$e to develop an umpire only product. Team Wendy didn't make money on the retros, and that's why they dumped them. Pretty simple. I'd also worry about them dropping mask pads in the future, too. Their market is making helmets for the DoD. TW put a lot of R&D work into their padding. I doubt anyone else out there could pony up the same amount of effort, just for a chest protector for umpires.
  4. It's boring to most non-baseball folks (not us). What I meant was that youth baseball needs to have less lag time, or it drags. And with so many other choices for kids out there, you really need to keep tempo up, the game moving, or it's a drag. Three minute change overs, in a rec league, will lead to parents having their kids play soccer. Again, we're talking about a timed game. You're ending it at x-o'clock no matter what. So how you manage that certain amount of time will dictate whether kids come back to the program, or go elsewhere. And I'm just talking about rec ball, where umpire are an integral part of the program. Elsewhere, we're just hired guns, and a time limit game is going to end no matter how they want to slog along. Make no difference to me.
  5. If we're talking about kids, I like to keep the game moving. Baseball is boring enough, and if it gets too slow kids and parents will quit. For LL, I'm a volunteer and league official, and I want kids coming back to the program. One minute, in and out. If this is travel, where teams pay to play, and I'm getting my cut, I couldn't care less how they choose to waste their time/$. Three minute change overs are two minutes I'm not getting my gear tested by awful pitching and catching.
  6. Things have changed since 2012, and there are more choices, both in frames and pads. I asked an MLB umpire why he chose certain pieces of gear, and he said it was because he got them for free. It struck me that he didn't put much thought into his protection. Again, and I hate to keep repeating this, but FIT is quite important. Just because Joe West uses a certain piece of gear doesn't mean it will fit you properly. I've got a Diamond, Wilson, Honig's and Schutt in my garage. The best fitting rig is my Honig's frame with Team Wendy pads. But my son likes the Wilson, with the Wilson wrap-around leather pads. Everyone is different. Every face is different. Do not go by what you see on TV. Hell, half those guys don't roll with throat protectors, which I find quite insane. ( I know it's heresy to some to even question what MLB umpires do, but in this case I don't care ). I don't care for the silver, aluminum Diamond frame, that seems to be cast, instead of tubing. They don't give one millimeter, and all that energy goes right to the pads. I do like the hollow steel Diamonds, that seem to just like the hollow tube steel of many other brands. The Wilson aluminum is another good choice. See which fits your face best, with the combination of pads that you like best. Oh, if you get a chance to try on a Champro magnesium, do so.
  7. The Gold are Platinum are still up there in protection, and IMO just under the S7 in deflecting baseball energy. I, too, like the ability to quickly replace the padding between plate jobs, and throw in a fresh set. Honestly, it's an awful feeling to don a c/p again, after you've been through a couple hours behind the dish. Ick. I'm still not digging the bulkyness, so I'll be looking to take a hair dryer to the plates, in an attempt to conform it more to my body, such as it is. I think that will help mold it better, and in turn get a little better coverage where you're looking. Keep us up to date on your mods. I like where you're going with this.
  8. There's a lot to be said about that. I held a deathgrip on my old electronic Honig's, long after the Whirlpool washer/dryer sent the working parts to heaven. It just felt right, as no other indicator did. I'll admit it did take some time to get to know the slim Mizuno, but now everything else feels wrong and clunky. So, no matter what anyone says, the best indicator is the one you like best. And that goes for a lot of things.
  9. I really like the Mizuno indicator. It's so small, thin and light, unlike anything else out there. Easy to handle, and fairly easy to see the big numbers at arms length. The down sides are: Cost, about $18. Location, across the Pacific, so they take awhile to show up. 4 balls/3 strikes, It'd rather have 3/2. The screened on graphics are starting to wear off. Yeah, that sounds like more bad than good. But I still think it's the best for me.
  10. Jim, I still believe you can turn that upside down, by going directly after the largest group of sports officials out there.
  11. Well, so much for getting it cheap.................................
  12. I was just trying to be nice, as I know a lot umpires love them. I think the plastic GD pants are awful looking. The light weight fabric flaps in the breeze, the bulky elastic waist band makes me (and everyone else) look fat. Aside from that.....
  13. The GD all polyester charcoal pants are tough, durable, and don't match any other pants on the planet. We just need a new benchmark.
  14. I live in San Diego, so it's rarely an issue. But I've worked games in the high 30s/low 40s. And I've had to massage the TW pads to soften them up, no doubt. The seemed to say pliable throughout the game after that. I can't, nor would I ever wish to, speak to working in lower temperatures.
  15. I sold a pair of Harwick pants for over $200. Just sayin'. When you can't get a certain item any more, and two or more people want that item, a market is created.