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Everything posted by BlueRanger

  1. BlueRanger

    New Diamond CP

    https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Featured/New/DCP-PRO_Diamond-Pro-Umpire-Chest-Protector Looks like a cross between a WV and a Douglas... Thoughts? BR
  2. BlueRanger

    Umpiring experience and job interviews

    It is the best conversation starter for me with adults, especially once they start hearing a HS kid blow their minds about all the rule myths... Lmao, if I had a dollar for every bet I've won on "the hands are apart of the bat" I could buy a black AllStarMAG at MSRP! BR
  3. TASO appears to be much better in the uniform dept. relative to everyone else. As far I'm aware, old school black is the only required shirt, but cream and pro blue are allowed too, nor are there any "black shoes only" frankenstein rules. I've noticed that a lot of the TASO guys doing our HS fall-ball games are wearing black vertical stripe polos, so maybe there's a change coming. Bottom Line: No Navy in these parts!! BR
  4. BlueRanger

    All Star MAG umpire mask - $150 SHIPPED CONUSA

    I would love to have one of these! Only problem is that the (ridiculously low) asking price is basically my entire gear budget until spring BR
  5. BlueRanger

    ISO: A few things

    Hey guys, potentially in the market for some new/er gear, but not entirely sure if I'm going to buy, so this is basically to see what's out there. Please feel free to include asking prices in the event someone who's definitely looking wants to buy. Thanks! Shin Guards (16.5/17 in) Base Shoes (Sz 12D, no color preference) Cap Keep *Pink Shirt (Sz M) *Grey Shirt (Sz M) Pink Ball Bag(s) *Please note if I would have to remove any patches, as my assoc. prohibits them Thanks! BR
  6. BlueRanger

    Even Aspiring Umpires Know Better

    Man... This needs to be mandatory viewing for all the rec leagues with in-house umps in my area. Waaayyy too many hats backwards, of course that assumes they: a. Have a hat b. Have a black umpire hat, instead of a random sports team hat... And don't even get me started on standing behind the catcher and what an appealable play is.. -BR
  7. Yeah, too bad I already replaced my Diamond mask that I backed over with my car last week with a Dynalite off of Offerup. Would much rather have a Champro mag with TWs for >$100... Oh well...
  8. The old mizuno catchers equipment bag I've been using has finally fallen apart, so I'm looking for a new bag. I have heard the Champro isn't very good, but it is pretty cheap. Some guys have said the Diamond and Force3 are awesome. And one of my partners heavily recommended the Wilson. What do you guys use? -BlueRanger
  9. BlueRanger

    Looking For A New Equipment Bag

    I ended up pulling the trigger on the big Diamond bag when I found it for $120 w/ free shipping at Baseball Warehouse last week. Initial thoughts: "Big" is insufficient to describe how enormous this bag is! I have fit my jacket, my four shirts, my three pairs of pants, my belt, my four ball bags, both of my masks, my three hats, my HS CP, my SGs, my plate shoes, and my field shoes in this bag with plenty of breathing room, which is absolutely amazing compared to my catcher's bag! The bag also feels solid when I roll it out to my car. It also fits in my "98 Honda's trunk with my whale-sized cooler and my lawn chair perfectly. -BR
  10. BlueRanger

    Situation From the Other Day

    To be fair, madigan and I are probably two of the, if not the, youngest umpires on here. Not to mention, most of the guys in my association are old enough to be my dad/grandpa. But hey, none of you have condescendingly told me that you "usually dont do ball this low" (12uAAA? Lol) so you'll hear no complaints from me!
  11. BlueRanger

    Ebay finds

  12. BlueRanger

    Ebay finds

    SIAP https://m.ebay.com/itm/MIZUNO-baseball-umpire-mask-1DJQR14009-black-JAPAN/132762335650?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20180213162448%26meid%3D6122e27043004162a3634995ead46d4d%26pid%3D100930%26rk%3D6%26rkt%3D8%26sd%3D192138098159%26itm%3D132762335650&_trksid=p2056116.c100930.m5375 Crazy... A brand new Mizuno for $30...
  13. MESSAGE FROM @Thunderheads Original Post: Texas vs. Oklahoma PU sporting a Diamond with Team Wendys and a properly (!!!) attached Mizuno throat guard. Calling a great, consistent zone too! Kinda wish I had him when I played LL eons ago...
  14. BlueRanger

    LLWS Discussion / Umpires / Plays / Etc ...

    Same here. Especially on off-speed stuff that splits the zone down the middle, but the catcher doesn't receive the pitch well. I know that an argument exists for being picky on catcher receiving when judging pitches at such a high level, but this is a bit too far. -BR
  15. BlueRanger

    Back Up Mask

    Absolutely! They're also super annoying, since when they (over)crush it sounds like someone hacking at styrofoam with a box cutter. I'll probably order some TWs off UA with a throat guard in a week or two. I don't start fall ball until September.
  16. BlueRanger

    Back Up Mask

    Not to derail the thread, but I just got a new backup mask off of craigslist... Still in the wrapper... For $20...
  17. BlueRanger

    Looking For A New Equipment Bag

    I don't fly around to umpire, though that does sound pretty fun! I asked a few of my association's vets for their advice and they suggested the Ebag for travelling and the Diamond or Champro if just putting it in the car.
  18. BlueRanger

    LLWS Discussion / Umpires / Plays / Etc ...

    Ok, I love the LLWS and all the rah rah for the never-appreciated umpires and volunteers. But, there are two things that irritate me out the wazoo with the LLWS, despite my enjoyment of the event otherwise. 1) ESPN Commentary Its awful. There is so much needless filler shoehorned into the broadcast its insane. If you took the filler out, there might be a solid five minutes of legit analysis of the game. 2) ESPN Graphics Pitch Speed: 71 MLB: 93 I actually thought "The Ocho" was doing a LLWS game the first time I saw this.
  19. BlueRanger

    LLWS Discussion / Umpires / Plays / Etc ...

    Max would've loved it, the PU for the N. California vs. Nevada game had a set of Wilson memory foams loaded on his mask with the 'dubya blacked out, You could only see it on the really up-close shots.
  20. BlueRanger

    LLWS Discussion / Umpires / Plays / Etc ...

    I like that they've stayed away from the professional uniforms, it reminds everyone that the LLWS is umpired by volunteers who donate their time, not professionals. I can understand why one would advocate for the pro uniforms though. Just my
  21. BlueRanger

    Apparel n' Equipment Guide v2

    ***Edited and restructured for ease of reading and clarity The New Ump’s Apparel n' Equipment Guide (Vol. 2) Created By: BlueRanger, July 2018 Note: I want to give a huge thank you to the numerous members of Umpire-Empire.com whose posts have contributed to the creation of this guide, including, but in no way limited to MadMax, BT_Blue, blue32, umpstu, Majordave, tpatience, Warren, and many more! The Basics - Quality, quality, quality - Make sure you order from a site with a good return policy, like UmpAttire.com - Make sure to properly measure your body for equipment sizing before ordering - Buy equipment according to the level protection required for the highest level you will call. (Ex: If you call 13u+ tournament ball and high school ball, then purchase equipment that will protect you well from HS pitching.) - It is better to spend money on quality equipment, and avoid preventable injury, than on medical bills and new equipment every time something breaks or wears down. - Do not use catchers gear for umpiring! =========================================================== I have broken this guide into sections and subsections according to each piece of plate equipment and clothing you can be expected to purchase. AND REMEMBER: IF IN DOUBT, ASK!! =========================================================== Masks Material Most modern umpire masks are made out of steel, aluminum, magnesium, or titanium. Steel: cheap and replaceable in case of bends Aluminum: won't break or bend, cost-effective Magnesium: if weld-less, won't break or bend, pricey to very expensive Titanium: rarely breaks or bends, thinner bars offer improved visibility, expensive Pads Often sorely neglected, pads are what make or break the mask. Stock pads are almost universally garbage and should be replaced with "Tech Pads" Team Wendy Pads: highly advanced pads containing Zorbium, which significantly lowers the force of impacts Wilson Memory Foam Pads: advanced memory foam pads, smoothly compress on impact to reduce force Should you find tech pads not to your liking, make sure that the pads you do choose have enough volume and do not excessively crush on impact You should replace your mask pads every 2 years, regardless of how frequently you umpire Throat Guards I cannot strongly recommend enough the importance of attaching a throat guard to your mask. I have seen too many people get caught in the throat by wild, bouncing pitches, even in my brief time as an umpire, so please don’t add yourself to the ranks. It’s also important to make sure your throat guard is long enough that, when it’s properly attached, it swings and smacks the upper part of your chest protector when you’re in your stance. If in doubt, get the longer one! DO NOT attach it to the bottom of the throat extension, as it is almost completely useless in that position. Instead, imagine your mask with the throat guard cut off, and attach it the lowest bar. Mask Fit Always wear your mask loose on your face, if you wear a traditional mask. This helps to prevent your head from absorbing the full impact of a shot, reducing the chance of injury. A good measure of appropriate looseness is to put on your mask and then bend over as if reaching for a ball on the floor. If your mask hangs off of your face enough that the lower pad is floating in open air a few inches from your face, then you’re good. Chest Protectors Soft Shell Soft shell CPs are primarily made of foam, though some do contain minor internal plastic plates to dissipate impact. These CPs are best used for lower velocity baseball and most levels of softball. DO NOT attempt to use these CPs at higher (60mph+) baseball, as they will not provide sufficient protection. Hard Shell Hard shell CPs, on the other hand, are mainly made of plastic attached to and/or covered in foam, which allows them to safely dissipate more forceful impacts from higher velocity baseballs and softballs. Chest protectors should entirely cover your ribs and your clavicle, if it doesn't, replace the harness or the chest protector itself. Shin Guards Shin guards are like cars: they'll all work, just to varying degrees of comfort. If doing lower level ball, any dedicated umpire shin guards will work fine. If doing upper level ball, it's advisable to get shin guards with better padding and/or higher quality plates. Protective Cups You need one. Period. Get a good one, like a shock doctor, nutty buddy, or other well-regarded brand. Plate Shoes Plate shoes should be worn behind the dish at every level of kid-pitch ball, as not doing so is begging for a broken foot. Many new umpires choose to forgo buying plate shoes due to their cost, and the inaccurate belief that the toe caps some shin guards come with are sufficient protection. Not to mention it looks remarkably unprofessional. =============================================================================== Hats Umpire caps come in three sizes, 4-stitch, 6-stitch, and 8-stitch "Stitch" refers to how many rows of stitching there are on the bill of the cap To start off, you should probably use a 4-stitch or "combo" hat when working the plate to develop good mask-removal technique Once you develop good technique, you may choose to move up to a higher stitch hat, just make sure that the bill stays within your mask You can use any size hat on the bases, though many umpires wear 6-stitch or 8-stitch hats on the bases Shirts Baseball: Unless your association requires specific colors, it's advisable to, at a minimum, have both light blue and black uniform shirts. I also recommended to have cream for the summer heat. Softball: Again, barring association requirements, you should probably have at least powder blue and navy.* *I don't umpire softball, so this is based off of what I can glean off the internet Belts Umpire belts are a staple of your appearance and should not be neglected. Belts come in either regular or patent leather, and should be worn snugly to keep your shirt tucked in, your pants looking good, and your ball bags sharp. Pants Baseball: Unless your association requires otherwise, you should have charcoal/dark grey pants. You should also have a pair of base and a pair of plate pants, as combo pants generally look like wearing gym sweats. Softball: Again, unless otherwise noted, you should purchase heather/light grey pants, have plate and base pairs. Pants come in poly-wool and poly-spandex material. Poly-spandex is more expensive, but is also lighter and more breathable. Poly-wools are usually cheaper, but are heavier and do not have the same ventilation properties. Make sure your pants are pressed to a clean crease Pro Tip: You only need to wash your pants when they smell or are dirty, needlessly washing them too often can cause them to fade quicker. Ball Bags Equally important not only as apart of your uniform, but also as a practical storage device. Should be of good quality material and have inside pockets for your brush, pen, indicator, etc. DO NOT GET A BALL BAG THAT HAS THREE BELT LOOPS AND OUTSIDE POCKETS These bags immediately make you look like an amatuer when you step on the field, not mention they absolutely suck at holding balls and your brush. Softball umpires often use navy ball bags, while baseball umpires typically use black.
  22. BlueRanger

    Apparel n' Equipment Guide v2

    On further reflection, Im going to remove that part. This is supposed to be a factual and informative guide, not my personal opinions. Thanks for the feedback!
  23. BlueRanger

    Apparel n' Equipment Guide v2

    Original guide restructuring has finished! Please continue to offer criticism so I can improve it. Thanks, -BR
  24. BlueRanger

    Back Up Mask

    Sounds like a perfect question for @MadMax