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Mini-review: Smitty Sky Blue Shirt

21 posts in this topic

So far, I think most of us can agree that Smitty is doing a really good job with their newest products. The poly-spandex is a big hit, and i really like the XL ball bags they came out with this year. What I am not a big fan of, is the newest MLB style shirt in the Sky Blue color. I can't speak of the black one because I haven't tried one yet, but I'm sure it's the same. For those that aren't familiar, it's the one with the wide contrasting color panel down the side.

I bought one a while back and used it for the first, and most likely, only time. The collar on it, for starters, looks "frumpy" for lack of a better term. I like a crisp looking collar, always have, and these look an old pillow with the stuffing removed. The second gripe I have with it, is the way it feels like it climbs up the back of my neck and head. I could never get it to where I would feel comfortable. I wore it about a month ago and it has been hanging in the closet ever since. It's looking like that style is going away, since you can't hardly find it anywhere in the Majestic brand, and when you do, it's very limited sizes.

Has anyone else had this experience with this particular shirt? Just kind of curious what your thoughts were. 

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The Smitty shirt doesn't breathe. The Majestic version of the 2016 panel is far and away my favorite, lightest shirt. I have it in both colors. The Majestic also has a better collar, as you eluded to. 

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The Majestic shirts are about $10 more but we'll worth the difference. I like this look and more of my partners are moving to it from the older MLB shirts with the one white stripe. The Majestic material breaths much better and as noted the collars hold their shape much better.

 

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58 minutes ago, KenBAZ said:

The Majestic shirts are about $10 more but we'll Worth the difference. I like this look and more of my partners are moving to it from the older MLB shirts with the one white stripe. The Majestic material breaths much better and as noted the collar hold their shape much better.

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
 

*sigh* If only they could be had. UA, and pretty much everyone else, is out of all sizes in the blue. They do have most sizes in the black though.

The irony in the smitty shirts, is they come out with the most breathable umpire pants to date, but the material for their shirts is still not up to par. What I would like to see is for the companies to get away from "jersey type" materials, and start using the types of material used in real golf shirts. I'm sure people will bring up the durability factor, but if they last a few seasons (normal seasons, not @MadMax seasons :)), then I'm happy. And cooler too! 

Bottom line, I'd like to see, softer, thinner, more breathable and moisture wicking material, with crisp collars that don't curl up, or look frumpy.  

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"That style" is going away, @blue32? This is the 2016 Panel -style shirt, and the only reason you're not seeing it with Majestic much anymore is because Majestic only produces a limited run of them! Majestic sets the trend, then the other manufacturers follow on and produce them ad nauseum, to varying degrees of quantity and quality. Smitty has kept pretty close to Majestic in following their lead, as had Honigs (until the last days of the HQ in Ann Arbor). TheOfficialsChoice went a different route, expanding the color palette, but still based on the 2010 Vertical Stripe -style. Only now, this summer, does it look like TOC is addressing the 2016 Panel -style (just not fully realized or resolved yet). Cliff Keen finally is producing a 2010 Vertical Stripe, and Dalco is still lost at sea, no doubt riding out an ocean's worth of pre-2010 traditional style shirts that their overseas production plants churned out.

Now it looks like +POS is throwing their hat in the ring, rolling out a 2016 Panel -style shirt set. I'd be willing to give this a go, instead of Smitty. I already own the Majestic versions, and love them.

However, keep in mind that this might be the last gasp for Majestic in baseball uniforms, because UnderArmour is looming ever closer on the horizon.

Edited by MadMax
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2 minutes ago, MadMax said:

"That style" is going away, @BT_Blue? This is the 2016 Panel -style shirt, and the only reason you're not seeing it with Majestic much anymore is because Majestic only produces a limited run of them! Majestic sets the trend, then the other manufacturers follow on and produce them ad nauseum, to varying degrees of quantity and quality. Smitty has kept pretty close to Majestic in following their lead, as had Honigs (until the last days of the HQ in Ann Arbor). TheOfficialsChoice went a different route, expanding the color palette, but still based on the 2010 Vertical Stripe -style. Only now, this summer, does it look like TOC is addressing the 2016 Panel -style (just not fully realized or resolved yet). Cliff Keen finally is producing a 2010 Vertical Stripe, and Dalco is still lost at sea, no doubt riding out an ocean's worth of pre-2010 traditional style shirts that their overseas production plants churned out.

Now it looks like +POS is throwing their hat in the ring, rolling out a 2016 Panel -style shirt set. I'd be willing to give this a go, instead of Smitty. I already own the Majestic versions, and love them.

However, keep in mind that this might be the last gasp for Majestic in baseball uniforms, because UnderArmour is looming ever closer on the horizon.

I said that @MadMax, I thought I read somewhere that it wasn't going to be produced anymore, but hopefully I am mistaken. 

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@MadMax Did you ever get in touch with Paul @TOC? And if so, what all did he say? He hasn't seemed to be engaged in the baseball stuff the past few years, as he was in the past. About 5 years ago, I was getting emails all the time with new shirts and new sales, now I mostly get the basketball shirt sale notifications.

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48 minutes ago, blue32 said:

I said that @MadMax, I thought I read somewhere that it wasn't going to be produced anymore, but hopefully I am mistaken. 

By Majestic, it very likely won't be. Majestic probably has their "last days as MLB Outfitter" mapped out, and there's a distinct possibility we'll see a whole myriad of uniform variations – by players, coaches and umpires – all to "go out with a bang", so to speak. Haven't you noticed that we've already had an overabundance of variety this year? Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Independence Day... now we've got the All-Star Break... any day that the planners at Majestic can come up with to produce variety, translated into retail and online sales to fan(atic)s, they're going to pursue.

So, with 2018 being their final season, we may just very well see a 2018 style trotted out to generate as many sales dollars as possible... one last hurrah... before UA rolls in and turns this local carnival into a theme park.

45 minutes ago, blue32 said:

@MadMax Did you ever get in touch with Paul @TOC? And if so, what all did he say? He hasn't seemed to be engaged in the baseball stuff the past few years, as he was in the past. About 5 years ago, I was getting emails all the time with new shirts and new sales, now I mostly get the basketball shirt sale notifications.

It's very difficult to get ahold of Paul; the interactions I've had with him are initiated by him calling me, often after something I've written to him via email or tacked onto the Comments section of an order. Keep in mind, he's not a baseball guy, or much of a sports guy, for that matter. His background is actually in the fashion industry. Majestic aside, he's probably the most proactive of the fabricators, whereas the rest are very reactive. He's trotted out two really top-notch materials and has employed them across a wide variety of styles and colors. Some are very appealing to umpires, some are downright repulsive, but at least he's trying new things. His company size (i.e. small) gives him great flexibility; what it doesn't give him is placement and volume, which the Smitty's, Cliff Keen's, and Dalco's of world rely upon.

The thing that still hamstrings any progress in uniform development is a single entry in the NFHS Rule Book: Rule 10-1 Article 9 – "Umpires shall wear ... navy pullover shirt or state association-adopted shirt." I'm certain that if the color "navy" was removed from this article, you'd see real change happen.

Back to Paul and TOC, it's very likely that he, too, is seeing the "writing on the wall", and the impending overtake of MLB uniforms by UA. He has to pick his battles. Baseball has a distinct disconnect between progressive Big League (and Minor League) styles, pushing to be new, fresh and modern, and High School / LL styles, stuck and mired in traditionalism. Know another sport that has that kind of disparity? Yup, basketball. Why is that the NBA officials uniforms look soooo much more modern and appealing than the traditional zebra stripes, which HS basketball clings to? And, when you talk to basketball officials, you'd be surprised to hear that most of them actually favor the more modern look, or at least to have it produced in much more comfortable and better performing fabrics, with a more athletic, trim cut...

... which Paul can certainly address.

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17 minutes ago, MadMax said:

So, with 2018 being their final season, we may just very well see a 2018 style trotted out to generate as many sales dollars as possible... one last hurrah... before UA rolls in and turns this local carnival into a theme park.

But the upside is that shirts will be at UA prices.    Oh, wait....   :angry: darn it.    

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Just now, BrianC14 said:

But the upside is that shirts will be at UA prices.    Oh, wait....   :angry: darn it.    

Unless they change something drastically, you're right, we could be paying $60 or more for the UA logo on our shirts. If there were ever a time for a company like TOC to really get rolling, it's now.

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15 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

I had to check if I had said something when I saw that @MadMax tagged me.

Oh! Sorry! I was typing so fast, it autofilled your name when I meant @blue32.

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4 minutes ago, MadMax said:

Oh! Sorry! I was typing so fast, it autofilled your name when I meant @blue32.

I'll take that as a silver lining then.

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Those of you fortunate enough to umpire ASA softball already know that ASA softball is no longer ASA softball. After 80-some odd years as the Amateur Softball Association, they're rebranding. Now know as USA softball, a new name and logo means, of course, new uniforms.

The shirts they've chosen seem to be exact duplicates of the Smitty major league "side-panel" shirt. Interestingly, the label in the shirt doesn't say Smitty- it says Adams. Smitty is a division of Adams, so they're one and the same. But I wonder why they went with the "generic" company name, rather than the one that seems to cater specifically to the baseball and softball crowd. ASA...errr, ummm...USA has somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 registered umpires- a captive market that has to buy their shirts from one single source. I'm surprised that Adams didn't take advantage of that to get the Smitty name in front of that audience.

The shirts themselves...I also don't care for the collar on these. "Frumpy" is a good description. They have an unkempt, wrinkled look, no matter how you care for them.

As for how they breathe, I've heard other umpires complain about that. I haven't had the chance to wear one on a really hot day yet, so haven't had any issues with that so far. They feel lightweight and seem like they should breathe okay, but I've heard enough complaints to the contrary to make me wonder.

For better or worse, we're probably locked into using these shirts for at least the next several years before another logo or supplier change makes them obsolete.

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On 7/9/2017 at 0:29 PM, Stk004 said:

The Smitty shirt doesn't breathe. The Majestic version of the 2016 panel is far and away my favorite, lightest shirt. I have it in both colors. The Majestic also has a better collar, as you eluded to. 

Are you wearing a T-shirt ?   I have both the Smitty "pro" style (vertical stripes) and Majestic, and haven't noticed much difference.  

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On 7/9/2017 at 4:18 PM, blue32 said:

*sigh* If only they could be had. UA, and pretty much everyone else, is out of all sizes in the blue. They do have most sizes in the black though.

The irony in the smitty shirts, is they come out with the most breathable umpire pants to date, but the material for their shirts is still not up to par. What I would like to see is for the companies to get away from "jersey type" materials, and start using the types of material used in real golf shirts. I'm sure people will bring up the durability factor, but if they last a few seasons (normal seasons, not @MadMax seasons :)), then I'm happy. And cooler too! 

Bottom line, I'd like to see, softer, thinner, more breathable and moisture wicking material, with crisp collars that don't curl up, or look frumpy.  

They had a made in the USA model that was on clearance on their site earlier in the year USA300. They are def lighter and more breathable than the standard Smitty shirts. Not sure if they are still available or not...but I prefer them to the other Smitty's.

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4 hours ago, BrianC14 said:

Are you wearing a T-shirt ?   I have both the Smitty "pro" style (vertical stripes) and Majestic, and haven't noticed much difference.  

The 2010 Majestic is heavy. Granted I have a size too large but it's not a light shirt. The 2016 Majestic is in a league of it's own. Except for possibly TOC, as I only own one TOC shirt and rarely wear it. 

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3 hours ago, Stk004 said:

The 2010 Majestic is heavy. Granted I have a size too large but it's not a light shirt. The 2016 Majestic is in a league of it's own. Except for possibly TOC, as I only own one TOC shirt and rarely wear it. 

Indeed, the Majestic 2016 Panel -style shirts are the beez-kneez, the Ay-Number-One, Top Dog, Creme De la Soul best, lightest, and most breathable umpire shirts on the market. A noteworthy runner-up is TOC's UltraTek fabric, used on select colors of their 2010 Vertical Stripe -style, Camo, and new Roughneck shirts.

Majestic's prior shirt, the 2010 Vertical Stripe, was hefty, by several ounces. The TOC PebbleKnits were noticeably lighter and more airy. Majestic did change their blend to the current fabric, releasing it as a technical exercise in 2015 as the 2015 Solid Black. No detailing, no trim lines.

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I have the 2015 solid black Majestic. Great shirt, super material, extra long tail. The only problem is no one else has it

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk

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46 minutes ago, KenBAZ said:

I have the 2015 solid black Majestic. Great shirt, super material, extra long tail. The only problem is no one else has itemoji54.png

Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
 

Last Sunday my partner pulled out this shirt. First time I've ever seen one, I was definitely surprised. 

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3 hours ago, KenBAZ said:

I have the 2015 solid black Majestic. Great shirt, super material, extra long tail. The only problem is no one else has itemoji54.png

 

3 hours ago, Stk004 said:

Last Sunday my partner pulled out this shirt. First time I've ever seen one, I was definitely surprised. 

And it took the market by surprise. That newest CoolBase material was so different, Majestic didn't know what to do with it. They had already closed the run and "burned the planform", so to speak, on the 2010 Vertical Stripe, and didn't want to have to contract the production of a manufacturer's supply of Sky Blue when they had already roadmapped the 2016 Panel -style. So, they commissioned it in black, with as little additional effort put into it as possible, as a technical exercise. They were used by select crews, and select individuals (no long sleeve version was ever made), and their sellable quantity was limited as well. Majestic also had the fabric produced in Navy, busted out the ol' pre-2010 Traditional planform, and made a limited run of them in Navy, more to show what could be done, and capture a few sales to the poor masses held captive to draconian state associations (mostly east of or on the Mississippi River).

If Smitty (Adams, the parent company) really wanted to get serious, they'd work out a side-door deal with the source of the CoolBase material, re-name it (KoolBase or CoolWeave, or Smooove), and then start cranking out 2010's and 2016's en masse. If they were to end the Traditional planform, that might be the motive to finally walk away from Navy by several state associations. They'd also be poised, in a much better position, to keep pace with UnderArmour when it rolls in and rolls out uniforms in their HeatGear and ColdBlack materials.

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