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grk17

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  • Location
    Kansas

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  • Occupation
    Financial Services
  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    JV and Varsity High School, Travel, 16U
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  1. grk17

    New ump in Austin

    Welcome! I've always wanted to take a road trip down to the Austin area. I've heard it's one of the faster-growing areas of the country at the moment.
  2. grk17

    All Star FM4000MAG

    A Team Wendy upper pad works great in the All Star Mag. In fact, the Team Wendy upper pad is actually a little bit denser and thicker than the stock pad and creates just a little bit more standoff distance at the top, making it easier to take the mask on and off while wearing a 6 stitch cap
  3. grk17

    All Star FM4000MAG

    Here's an interesting question to tie this all back to the Mag. Does your Gerry Davis pad insert thing work with the Mag? or is the angle of the top pad somewhat restrictive to using this device?
  4. grk17

    New Diamond CP

    So the patent protection has expired then. So doesn’t that mean that any company can now produce chest protectors that use Velcro tabs?
  5. grk17

    New Diamond CP

    How much longer does Wilson own the rights to this? It was my understanding that patents ran out after 20 years. Isn't that about how old the Wilson West Vest is? I'm just picturing a magical world where any company can use velcro tabs to attach plates to chest protectors and we umpires can live happily ever after.
  6. grk17

    2 New Wilson Aluminum Masks

    lock this up @Thunderheads. the remaining one just sold
  7. I can see that side of it. Just as long as we stay away from grey ballbags right? Lol
  8. As I read some of these responses several issues jump out at me and there are several things I want to address. First, @kylehutson, You are correct in that our association doesn't technically require navy ballbags. Thus, I stand corrected and I thank you for bringing the specific regulations to my attention. However, I still stand by my original points. The KSHSAA still requires us to wear either an "NFHS approved navy blue or black pullover shirt." While different color ballbags are not specifically mentioned, I think we can all agree that ballbags need to match the hat color. Further, I find it interesting that the regulations don't mention anything about black hats. No one should wear navy hats with black shirts, that is just silly. Therefore, while the KSHSAA regulations are surprisingly vague, the spirit of the regs remains the same. (That is, we approve of umpires wearing either navy or black and for them to look the same.) Even though both navy and black are mentioned, my experience has indicated to me that navy is still the standard (if not in fact, in appearance.) There have been numerous times where I have worked with first-year umpires and many of them only have one color of shirt-------navy. Thus, navy is clearly still regarded as the standard and it furthers my point that those of us who work with many different partners, some of which prefer black, are still forced to buy navy hats and navy ballbags to keep our uniform jiving. I have also worked with many newer partners that only have one color of the hat....... making it more difficult to adhere to the regulation that we should be dressed the same. For example, I may email a partner and he tells me he only has one color of shirt (navy). Thus, I only pack navy on my way to the game and my partner shows up with a black hat. While it's not a huge deal, it still looks a little funny when we are standing together. We look mismatched, dysfunctional, and unorganized. That is one reason why I am advocating for just eliminating the navy from our repertoire altogether. Next, we seem to be getting a little bit off topic with regards to the recruiting new umpires thing. I never said that updating the shirts would bring in new recruits by itself. like @kylehutson mentioned, his recruits cite different reasons and I agree with him. This, however, is tangential to my point where I argued that having to buy supporting accessories for navy constitutes a higher price tag for new officials. They must buy more hats, and preferably, more ballbags instead of just a one size fits all black hat and black ballbag. My association has rightly identified startup cost as a huge factor deterring new recruits from joining. Thus, I would think that taking a small step to reduce this cost would help. Further, @LMSANS has used some faulty logic and faulty debate topics to support his points and refute mine. First, you seem to be raising the slippery slope issue with regards to updating shirts. (If we want to get more modern we change a shirt here and change a shirt there and pretty soon we are wearing street clothes and basketball shorts.) When dealing with a "where does it stop argument" my experience has taught me that the answer is always SOMEWHERE. It stops somewhere long before street clothes. No one is arguing for wearing Tshirts and street clothes, all that has been argued is that we update to a more modern style and color scheme. Therefore, the where does it stop argument doesn't really hold water under close scrutiny. Second, when faced with the argument for updating shirts, you seem to be using the tactic that I call "what aboutisms" where your counterargument consists of "what about time limits, what about pay, what about XYZ." This tactic doesn't really accomplish anything other than deflecting blame and dancing around the main issue. No one asserts that time, pay and a myriad of other negative externalities don't exist that deter recruits. I am merely tying low recruiting number, high startup costs, and other issues to the issue of updating shirts with sound and reasonable logic. Finally, I agree with @JSam21 about eliminating excuses and I think that if new standards were adequately codified, we could stop further issues. If associations, like mine, would put into writing a regulation detailing that navy blue is no longer an acceptable color, unless both partners agree to it and completely match, the "old geezers" would have no choice but to update. They wouldn't be able to tell you that they just have their one navy shirt from 1980 and that's it. The association standards could clearly oppose this by detailing that navy is not a standard shirt. All-in-all, I still firmly believe that abandoning navy makes sense for reasons I've mentioned before. Additionally, most of us don't like the color. I still support updating our shirts out of the 80s and into the modern day. After all, perception can make all the difference. If we look good, we feel good, we get more respect. I still have not been convinced that any of the counterarguments hold any weight.
  9. Exactly. You also bring up another point I forgot to touch on. Even though my state’s association requires navy hats and ball bags with the navy shirt, not everyone abides by it. I’ve worked games with partners who only had a navy shirt and a black hat. Some don’t have navy ball bags either. Therefore, even though color matching is required, not everyone abides by it and we end up looking silly since some of us have different color hats. Eliminating navy would also solve this problem
  10. grk17

    Throwing the bat

    Agreed @kylehutson. In my hometown, youth leagues also had a codified rule to just call an out and eliminate the shock value from ejecting a kid who likely just doesn't have a great handle on the game.
  11. For me, the call to update is for several reasons. First, I just think that the navy and red looks old and dated. I get that there is a traditionalist aspect to it but those navy shirts really do look like they are straight out of 1980. With companies now making shirts with a more modern styling, I think it is foolish to still stick with a dated style and color. Much the same as a double-breasted suit with a really wide tie is outdated and a bit silly looking in a modern sense. (although I realize that dress clothes go in and out of style and the double-breasted suit will probably come back into style at some point.) Second, navy just seems like a really counterintuitive color. We wear black shoes, black belts, and mostly black gear but then we throw on a shirt with navy and red. This makes absolutely no sense to me. Why not wear shirts that are black or powder blue with black trim that jive with our shoes, belts, and gear. Just think of it in terms of dress clothes that you wear to work. If you wear black shoes and a black belt with dark grey pants, a navy and red shirt would not be the best choice. I suppose you could pull that look off if you really wanted to but it really doesn't go together. Thus, black or light blue goes really good with grey pants and black shoes/belt. Third, practicality is compromised by including navy shirts as required attire. Having navy in the rotation now means that I must purchase a navy hat and navy ballbags and navy jackets to accommodate this color. I would rather stick with shirt colors that go with black supporting attire. If we eliminate navy, we no longer need navy hats, ballbags, and jackets. This is more of a one-size fits all mentality that ultimately makes uniform buying cheaper. Since many associations, including mine, have rightly identified startup cost as a large factor why numbers are going down, I would think that state associations would be trying to encourage price savings at every turn in order to foster recruiting new officials. Finally, looking like the pros is never a bad thing. Sure, we may not be MLB or collegiate umpires, but there is nothing wrong with appearing like we are professionals and dressing appropriately. I once had a mentor who told me that appearance is most of the battle. If you look professional, you feel professional, and people respect you more. For better or worse, perception is often reality in the minds of spectators. All-in-all, I would really like to get the ball rolling on updating uniforms at the high school level of officiating for the reasons listed above. Maybe if enough of us mobilize we can influence organizations to update.
  12. What I would like to see is a survey emailed out to all the umpires in a state association where we could vote in favor or not in favor of updating to either the college style shirts or the MLB style shirts. I’m just curious to see what the results would be. This way, if there are some in the association who are salty about having to update shirts after like 30 years.... they wouldn’t have a whole lot of grounds to back up their point if 90% of the association members favor an update.
  13. Recently, I was talking with a young friend of mine who expressed interest in getting into the umpiring business. After hearing this, I quickly leaped into recruiter role to try and convince him to follow through with his ambitions. He asked if he could see some of my uniforms and equipment so that he could get an idea about what he might need and all of the specifics. As I was going through my many shirts and shoes and pants combinations, my buddy looked at my navy/red trim shirts that are still the standard shirt for high school games in my state. (although black has been approved as an alternate color). He looked at my navy shirts, laughed, and said: "this looks like a shirt my grandpa wears sometimes, and that jacket looks like something my grandma wears." (pointing to my navy therma-base jacket with red stripes over the shoulders.) That's when it hit me........ The navy and red trim shirts and jackets really do look like something of an era long past. My buddy then pointed to my MLB style black and grey side panel shirt and expressed his liking of the modern styling. While my dislike for navy shirts has grown over the last few years, this moment was a turning point where I really noticed just how dated these shirts look. I sincerely hope that NFHS and my state association will take a long hard look at updating these dated shirts. First, abolishing the navy shirts and transitioning to black would be a nice first step towards modernization. Also, this would eliminate the need for separate navy caps, navy ballbags, and navy jackets. I would go even further to say that we need to abolish the collar and cuff stripe shirts in general. Now, I realize that some might contend that we high school umpires shouldn't wear MLB shirts as we are not professional umpires. This is a view that I am somewhat sympathetic with, at least to some degree. The logical answer here might be to adopt the old MLB style shirts with the single stripe down the side. Some might also contend that since these shirts are the standard shirt for college umpires, we shouldn't infringe on their territory either. At any rate, I just wish we could come up with a modern style polo shirt in black and powder blue that, while different from the college and MLB styles, would still look modern and professional. I think it is time to stop donning our navy shirts that look like casual Friday at the office in 1980. With all of the manufacturers of umpire shirts out there, I would think that this could be accomplished by someone. All-in-all, I really would like to see high school associations at least take the first step towards modernization by eliminating the navy colors.
  14. grk17

    Champion Sports Armor Style Chest Protector

    Are you referencing Carlucci and Ted Barrett’s chest protector? It would be awesome to get a custom shop started again with all of the modern foams and technologies
  15. grk17

    Champion Sports Armor Style Chest Protector

    If only there was a place or a shop where you could get a "bespoke" chest protector. Go in, get measured, pick your foams and design etc. Kind of like a build a chest protector workshop if you will
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