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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
So I switched from my beloved Schutt XV to the All Star System 7, for various reasons. And as usual when we have a new CP, I was eagerly anticipating a 'good shot' off of it, which I got Monday.
Coaches and Catcher estimate 85-87 mph (it's where this kid normally sits) four seamer, barely knicked the bat and hit me hard, directly on the right clavicle. Only felt that something impacted the CP, sounded like a shot gun went off, but didn't feel ANYTHING underneath. I was impressed.
I bought it for the clavicle protection, and it didn't disappoint! Catcher was sure I should be hurt, he asked me twice, but I literally didn't feel anything.