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By Umpire in Chief
My Diamond Ultimate 30" Equipment bag has reached it end of life. This year it remained on life support having had to glue one of the wheels in with Gorilla Glue.
So now find myself contemplating 2 bags:
FORCE3 ULTIMATE 32" UMPIRE EQUIPMENT BAG ON WHEELS
eBags TLS Mother Lode 29" Wheeled Duffel
They both get a lot of positive mentions here. But here is one thing that is somewhat important to me, but I've never seen mentioned here; breath-ability.
Why you ask? After a game here in the summer my equipment is weighed down with tons of nasty sweat. So after my game I don't put my equipment back in the bag so it can air out - the best they can in my trunk. I would like to put it back where it belongs in my bag, but if I did my equipment would never dry out.
I'd love your thoughts pros/cons on each!
I'm sitting in a Texas Roadhouse after calling 9 baseball games over the past 3 days in 117°+ Arizona heat, watching the Mets get shellacked yet again by the Dodgers, when I notice the camera zoom way, way, waaaaaayyyyy in on Travis d'Arnaud and the Force3 Defender mask he's wearing. Travis is new to the Defender TM, having previously used the Mizuno Samurai HSM. The Samurai is one of the most thoroughly padded HSMs on the market, but doesn't get enough play besides the sleeker, more sculpted All-Star System 7's and Easton M-series.
With the camera zoomed in on the telltale, trademark springs of the Defender, I begin reading the closed captioning of the two ESPN broadcasters discussing the details of the mask, and how it is progressively suited to reducing impact force and the likelihood of concussions. The camera pans to show all three spring points, and even shows the profile shape, with the broadcasters pointing out the standoff distance. They go on to say several catchers in the league are now using it, and there is now a hockey-style version on the market (the Defender HSM).
In a move of directorial brilliance (the guy in the truck should get an Emmy nomination), the camera then pans to zoom in on Lance Barksdale as PU for tonight's game... wearing a Wilson Titanium Low Profile... with Wilson leather wraparound pads...
The broadcasters then contrast the Defender TM against the Wilson TiLP, and how little protection it affords the umpire. Barksdale's nose is on the verge of poking out of the eyeport, and the mask is nearly flat on his face. One of the broadcasters laments, "I never saw the point of that mask".
#TimeForChange #GetWiseOffWilson #OtherOptionsExist #HeadInTheGame
By Umpire in Chief
The Force3 Ultimate Umpire Shin Guards are a high quality umpire shin guard made of premium materials including DuPont Kevlar, stainless steel rivets, and high-impact slimline composite buckles.
The uniqueness of this design is in its lower profile design that uses Kevlar inside the padding that reduces the need for bulkier and/or heavier padding. Therefore, of all lower-profile designs in a double-knee variety, consider this your most protective option.
Kevlar layer is laminated into the interior padding providing the best protection and lowest weight possible. Slim profile provides conforming protection. Optional comfort padding provides a cushioned barrier between your leg and the shin guard. Vent holes make for great breathability and airflow while working your game. Lightweight: approximately 3lbs Three sizes: 14.5″, 16.5″ and 18.5"
Force3 trotted out a brand-new visor for their Defender TM, and of course, it's designed to fit to the unique geometry of the Defender's upper cage. There are two tab slots instead of one, and there is a notch to accommodate the centerline mounting clip. It even has the Force3 logo (which should, and hopefully someday will, supplant the Big Yellow W) laser-engraved.
I'm shocked I beat @gnhbua93 in this announcement. If/when I get a Defender TM, though, it will surely have one of these on it.