In viewing clips of pitches and hits on mlb.tv, I have noticed a trend – MLB umpires are opting to a wider variety of masks rather than the default, formerly supplied Wilson DynaLite. We’re still seeing guys use the Wilson DynAlum and the occasional Wilson Titanium (Way Too) Low Profile, and there are those still relying on their Nike Icon Titaniums, but we’re also seeing increased numbers of Mizunos, Force3 Defenders, and All-Star FM4000MAGs.
I’m sincerely wondering when that “paradigm shift” or “break point” is going to occur, when it is open season on branding gear with attributed logos instead of hiding, obscuring, or flat-out lying so as to appease a company that lethargically refuses to progressively protect their “sponsored” representatives. Because a knocked-off mask is viewed as a “failed mask”, MLB umpires – wearing Wilson -marked masks especially – are directed to wear their masks far too tight. Well, coincidentally, this plays right into Force3’s strengths, as the reactive spring suspension functions best when the mask is worn snugly. It’s just a shame that Force3 doesn’t receive due credit!
Looking for a used but in good shape F3 Hockey Style mask. Just don't have the money at the moment for a new one. The Wilson Shox that I am currently using needs new pads but I would spend half of a new mask to replace them most likely. Plus the headache of replacing them! Help a brother out!
I'm looking for the shoulder paldrons for the Force3 chest protector or something else along those lines. I was inspired to try and put together my own chest protector, like the one pictured below, by a minor league umpire and Facebook friend.
If no one has any they want to part with. Do you know if you can get "replacement" chest protector parts or ones that are not sellable on a full piece from Force3?
Don't worry, this is the extent of comparing my talent level with Kurt Suzuki.
This is what I'm referencing:
So last night I was in a high school varsity game. No super-stars on the team, I'm guessing pitches were in the low to mid 70's. Fast ball comes in high, the catcher completely whiffs it, and the ball hits my F3 Defender v2 right about in the same place as it does Suzuki in the video from the above link (just below the eye opening, and almost dead-center left-to-right). And darn if I don't have an abrasion and a bruise right where he did.
Today I got my mask back out and I think I figured out why. The back of the bracket the springs are attached to is right behind the stitching of the padding, so there's essentially no padding there. It seems like if the mask gets torqued downward, the brace can hit your chin with very little padding. Don't get me wrong, if I was wearing my old Diamond with the memory-foam pads, I'd have probably had a concussion, but it's still frustrating that I got hurt wearing what should be the best thing on the market.
Here are some photos I just took
1) The bruise and abrasion on my chin
2) How the mask sits on my face (yes, I know the straps are twisted, I was just trying to show the positioning
3) A close-up of the brace and the padding (or lack thereof) in that location.