Amidst all the hubbub surrounding the debut of the Champro CM83/84 Rampage die-cast Magnesium mask, there’s another mask that appeared in Champro’s catalog that is just as intriguing and likely at a great price point.
This mask, my friends, is aluminum. It is the CM81/82, based on Champro’s CM71/72 Ultralight hollow steel mask, but this time done in aluminum, so it doesn’t bend! I know from experience of using it and supplying to my junior umpires, it has excellent sightlines, a squared chin guard with forward rake, and a broad extended crown guard. Now in aluminum, Champro really did think of everything!
Here’s the big value, though... Wilson’s DynaLite Aluminum starts at $110. The famous Diamond DFM-iX3 is at $70, but could really use the thicker, better pads of the BL (Big League) version at $90. Well fellows, this here Champro is $70. I love the idea of taking that extra $40 I just saved and getting... well, just about anything else of quality to complete my umpire gear needs.
Just placed an order for the New Balance MU460 plate shoes. I thought sure that I could squeeze another season out of the original NB 450s, but it's just not possible, as my toes are still swollen 24 hours later from yesterday's game.
As information, I ordered from www.ump-attire.com and I will be happy to report back with my review, both here and at Ump-Attire. Looking forward to some comfort !
... and you better be on Ump-Attire.com buying a new CP!!!
Really. $40. Forty Dollars and a few days of waiting on shipping it to you is all it takes to stop looking like a yutz, a schmuck or a doofus, and putting yourself at increased risk of injury. I was a catcher, and I used my ol' catcher's CP for my first year of umpiring... Forget it. Might as well wear a sheet of cardboard. Are you using a cheap softee-shell that you got from the local sporting goods store? Makes you look like a meatball? Pfffft... Donate it to the nearest tae-kwon-do or martial arts studio for use as a sparring vest, for all the good it'll do you in baseball. Own a DavisShield?... ... ... You may be beyond hope.
That Champion Hardshell CP sitting there, offered by U-A, is the ideal entry-level CP. Hard plastic carapace, contoured body panels, segmented padded liner/vest, decent hardware, substantial shoulders, but no-where near as hulking as a WestVest nor as pricey as the better CP's. You don't need a sports car for the daily commute, right? You just need a simple, reliable hatchback or coupe for the daily drive to save up for and get the sports car someday! This is that commuter car.
Heck, it even has a better harness than most of the other, more expensive CP's come stock equipped with! But don't stop there, I advise you... Get it, and with a few extra bucks, purchase a Flex-style harness for it. The Force3 Flex isn't bad; the All-Star DeltaFlex is good, but it only fits slim-to-average builds on a non-All-Star CP like this; but if you want to think serious, contact @Razzer and commission one of his ULFH "RayFlex" units. You can take it with you into that sports-car CP you'll one day get, and if you get it personalized (you should! Ray includes it in the cost), you're allowed to feel a little vain and self-serving at Christmas.
And I better not catch you wearing Catchers' Shinguards either, mister! Those Champion shinguards offered on sale alongside the CP? Those will work swell. You'll actually be able to move in them without toeflaps and sideflaps flopping all out the bottom of your pants... Oh, and you'll actually be able to fit some good pants over them, because these are nowhere near as bulky as catchers' shinguards.
Now, where is @gnhbua93 hiding so as to talk up the fact that U-A is offering the Force3 Defender V2 on sale, too?!!!
PS- Go ahead and get the '15 All-Black Umpire shirt, especially at that price, if all you've got is that lone Navy shirt that some ol' codger in your association said "This 'ere navy one is all ya need!". Those of us with all the different styles of black umpire shirts (there are 4) won't mind. We'll work a game with you, no sweat!
I would like to try out a Magnesium Alloy mask. Two extremely similar models were put to market just a couple years ago (they were likely clones or copies of each other) from +POS and Champro. My preference would be the +POS, but I would not decline a Champro.
Once you contact me that you have one, we can discuss purchasing, lend-lease, or trade options. It's only crucial the frame is intact – if the pads are shot or the harness is kaput (or missing), no worries.