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VolUmp

Required Shock absorbers on catcher's masks?

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Anyone know when Wilson's exclusive contract with MLB umpires ends? As has been said here time and again they don't care about advancement in protection nearly as much as they do their bottom line. I figure that with Joe West partnering with them on the West Vest, it wouldn't end soon, but I was curious. Also wondering if Force 3 could ever take over as the official gear supplier in the future. Wouldn't that be the day. 

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16 minutes ago, MadMax said:

This is likely tied to the discontinuation of the Wilson Shock FX, as the new Wilson ProStock HSM is not, in any way shape or form, suitable for umpires. There is a distinct possibility this is "one last gasp" by Wilson, their "all-in" moment, to keep Force3 and All-Star (backed by UnderArmour) out of "the catbird seat" with MLB Umpires. Sure, the Gibsons and Cederstroms will still use their HSMs (of their choosing, as Gibson uses an All-Star), but Wilson is probably scared witless that all these new umpires in the AA and AAA ranks will come onto the scene wearing non-Wilson masks.

Such an ironic twist, because it was just two years ago that it was decreed in the AA and AAA ranks that they should use HSMs. The MLBU's Health & Safety Umpire (name withheld) was traveling around, scaring us off Titanium masks (confusing most of us, by holding up a known hollow steel mask while saying so), and praising the Wilson Shock FX as the mask solution to have! Oh how the tune has changed, once Wilson sinks a healthy sum into bringing Aluminum to market and has been nearly driven out of the HSM battle!

Well that sure is an interesting story behind the story. Was Wilson's HSM market share in MLB so significant or are they scared to lose whatever foothold they had in the HSM space?

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Just now, ElkOil said:

Well that sure is an interesting story behind the story. Was Wilson's HSM market share in MLB so significant or are they scared to lose whatever foothold they had in the HSM space?

They already lost it to All-Star, Easton, Rawlings and Mizuno (in that order). Unless you are Force3, you don't make HSMs for umpires, you make them for catchers. More specifically, you make HSMs for 18U / youth catchers... because that's what NFHS dictates.

On the Pro -side, of the 30 MLB teams, if you figure they each carry 2-3 catchers on their roster, that's upwards of 90 catchers – only 1 is sponsored by Wilson, AJ Ellis. Ellis, though, wears a traditional mask!! How does that give you market exposure for your (troubled) HSM?

And yes, I do say troubled, because the Shock FX, despite having shock absorbers, is a customer service nightmare. Granted, if it was in the hands of a different company, such as All-Star, it wouldn't be such a pariah. Wilson, though, has an aloof and unengaging customer service track record, and when faced with the problem of a bent cage, stuck spring, or damaged shell, they would require the complete unit be sent back in. This frustrates customers. It also burdens the customer service department, as well as reducing the available stock of units without any net gain profit. And Wilson certainly doesn't sell refurb / recert units! It reached a point where Wilson would refuse (or at least complicate) to service / exchange a unit, and you'd be faced with having to buy a new one! This really frustrates customers!

Back to the Pro ranks, what are the two lone spots for advertising on a professional umpire (gear-wise)? The head and at the base of the neck / throat. Along comes Greg Gibson, wearing his All-Star System 7. The unit he wears may be devoid of the All-Star logo, but every baseball fan worth their salt knows that's an All-Star... especially when the catcher in front of him is wearing the exact same one! So, Wilson has misappropriated a significant amount of capital, pouring it into securing and shoring up their exclusivity in advertising the Wilson gold "W" on those two spots, instead of actually developing top-notch, progressive gear.

Much like Captain Hook and his Crocodile, Wilson is hearing the tick-tock of the clock, counting the time until UnderArmour is unleashed upon professional baseball. Instead of smashing clocks, they're trying to obscure or block anything that is indicative of competition.

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3 hours ago, dumbdumb said:

Why not a black catcher's skull cap helmet or coaches helmet to go with the mask for extra protection.

@dumbdumb, I like your reasoning. Ask @Thunderheads and/or @grayhawk, we've already been bemusing over this exact solution. I've got several sketchbook pages of what I believe to be an outstanding solution. It would have several features on it or to it that not only address umpire concerns (such as ventilation and temple protection), but would have neat features to it that umpires would appreciate! I could even see this being an ideal alternative or replacement to the batting helmets that Base Coaches wear. It just needs to be virtually rendered, refined and then prototyped; alas, I'm a bit short on time because, of course, I have to make this thing called "a living". :cool:

I'd like to get @Razzer involved, at least for advice and contact referrals.

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45 minutes ago, MadMax said:

@dumbdumb, I like your reasoning. Ask @Thunderheads and/or @grayhawk, we've already been bemusing over this exact solution. I've got several sketchbook pages of what I believe to be an outstanding solution. It would have several features on it or to it that not only address umpire concerns (such as ventilation and temple protection), but would have neat features to it that umpires would appreciate! I could even see this being an ideal alternative or replacement to the batting helmets that Base Coaches wear. It just needs to be virtually rendered, refined and then prototyped; alas, I'm a bit short on time because, of course, I have to make this thing called "a living". :cool:

I'd like to get @Razzer involved, at least for advice and contact referrals.

 

41pslOto9TL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg

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Just now, stevis said:

41pslOto9TL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg

No, that is for BU's... although I'm sure a few BC's around here in AZ would be guilty of wearing one during games, for the kind of "liquified" talk they give us.

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2 hours ago, stevis said:

 

41pslOto9TL._SL500_AC_SS350_.jpg

You've stolen Max's design. Off to court you go.

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4 hours ago, MadMax said:

They already lost it to All-Star, Easton, Rawlings and Mizuno (in that order). Unless you are Force3, you don't make HSMs for umpires, you make them for catchers. More specifically, you make HSMs for 18U / youth catchers... because that's what NFHS dictates.

On the Pro -side, of the 30 MLB teams, if you figure they each carry 2-3 catchers on their roster, that's upwards of 90 catchers – only 1 is sponsored by Wilson, AJ Ellis. Ellis, though, wears a traditional mask!! How does that give you market exposure for your (troubled) HSM?

And yes, I do say troubled, because the Shock FX, despite having shock absorbers, is a customer service nightmare. Granted, if it was in the hands of a different company, such as All-Star, it wouldn't be such a pariah. Wilson, though, has an aloof and unengaging customer service track record, and when faced with the problem of a bent cage, stuck spring, or damaged shell, they would require the complete unit be sent back in. This frustrates customers. It also burdens the customer service department, as well as reducing the available stock of units without any net gain profit. And Wilson certainly doesn't sell refurb / recert units! It reached a point where Wilson would refuse (or at least complicate) to service / exchange a unit, and you'd be faced with having to buy a new one! This really frustrates customers!

Back to the Pro ranks, what are the two lone spots for advertising on a professional umpire (gear-wise)? The head and at the base of the neck / throat. Along comes Greg Gibson, wearing his All-Star System 7. The unit he wears may be devoid of the All-Star logo, but every baseball fan worth their salt knows that's an All-Star... especially when the catcher in front of him is wearing the exact same one! So, Wilson has misappropriated a significant amount of capital, pouring it into securing and shoring up their exclusivity in advertising the Wilson gold "W" on those two spots, instead of actually developing top-notch, progressive gear.

Much like Captain Hook and his Crocodile, Wilson is hearing the tick-tock of the clock, counting the time until UnderArmour is unleashed upon professional baseball. Instead of smashing clocks, they're trying to obscure or block anything that is indicative of competition.

Great Captain Hook quote. lol

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On 7/11/2017 at 9:49 PM, MadMax said:

@dumbdumb, I like your reasoning. Ask @Thunderheads and/or @grayhawk, we've already been bemusing over this exact solution. I've got several sketchbook pages of what I believe to be an outstanding solution. It would have several features on it or to it that not only address umpire concerns (such as ventilation and temple protection), but would have neat features to it that umpires would appreciate! I could even see this being an ideal alternative or replacement to the batting helmets that Base Coaches wear. It just needs to be virtually rendered, refined and then prototyped; alas, I'm a bit short on time because, of course, I have to make this thing called "a living". :cool:

I'd like to get @Razzer involved, at least for advice and contact referrals.

or, just go look at the photo of Cruz and West. Now, have Cruz give West his helmet. That mask of Joes would sit right on the top of the helmet brim. You could actually have the double ear also for other protection, for the batters who have the Charlie Lau long distance backswing. I believe I brought this up years ago (but also being normally dumb, I have a dumb memory also) and you guys dissed me. You also have kevlar that you could line the inside of the helmet with. Nothing will ever be perfect probably, but to somehow mitigate the amount of force would help the concussion issue immensely as well as those C-3-C-5 surgeries later on.

Or maybe with the advance of technology, they are not worried about having umpires at all down the road. Look out D1 College is next further down the road. Wonder what happens with the junior guys if technology takes over after only 5 years on the staff?

Ah, maybe non-concussion officiating. Slow pitch softball, Basketball, Volleyball, wrestling, swimming/diving, lacrosse, football, track, soccer, tennis, water polo, rugby, gymnastics, field hockey, etc. is the way to go.

https://qz.com/1026559/all-star-game-this-will-be-one-of-the-last-all-star-games-in-baseball-not-umpired-by-robots/

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On 7/11/2017 at 2:53 PM, dumbdumb said:

Why not a black catcher's skull cap helmet or coaches helmet to go with the mask for extra protection.

I have a couple umpire friends that do this. Seems to like it.

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On 7/11/2017 at 9:01 AM, VolUmp said:

How much could he really have to say?  He's said a whole lot of "nothing" yet. 

Maybe if you were, I dunno... nice about it, @MadMax would indulge you. That's a lesson most of us learn in kindergarten.

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Yeah... they are going to require schools to buy $250+ masks with springs on them when they don't require them to pay $20 for 2 helmets for the base coaches...

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53 minutes ago, JSam21 said:

Yeah... they are going to require schools to buy $250+ masks with springs on them when they don't require them to pay $20 for 2 helmets for the base coaches...

Dammit, @JSam21, you beat me to one of my key points in my forthcoming rebuttal to Vol's... ahem... proposed idea.

You're forcing me to write faster!

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29 minutes ago, MadMax said:

Dammit, @JSam21, you beat me to one of my key points in my forthcoming rebuttal to Vol's... ahem... proposed idea.

You're forcing me to write faster!

Quick, everybody guess Max's ideas until he posts! 

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25 minutes ago, Stk004 said:

Quick, everybody guess Max's ideas until he posts! 

Cut two eye holes in an old sofa cushion and tie  it to your face with dental floss?

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1 minute ago, ElkOil said:

Cut two eye holes in an old sofa cushion and tie  it to your face with dental floss?

Don't forget the gold W chin tab! 

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