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Mark Gaver

Equipment question

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I'm looking at a couple different masks , the force 3 is out budget restraints I've looked at 2 different masks wanting some opinion on the Diamond big league and the Wilson steel dyna lite  pros and cons for both and an other input be appreciated

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I'm not aware of your budget, but here are my :2cents:

Diamond BL Ump mask - aluminum frame, good pads, solid and lightweight are the pros.  Cons are ugly design IMHO, but the rest is good.

Wilson Steel Dyna Lite - solid, good pads, and solid are the pros.  It can be a bit heavy, but that's dependent on the wearer's opinion.  I don't like the chin guards on these as they jut out too far IMO.

If you like F3 but only can spend $130-140 there are a couple of options for you still.

Tan pads Douglas F3 mask (actual F3 V1 mask but with Douglas padding in tan) - all the benefits of a F3 mask just has Douglas padding and it's 4 spring versus 3 spring.  These are very good masks for $129 shipped here: https://sportsfacilitiesgroup.com/store/douglas-f3-traditional-umpire-or-catchers-mask?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI9amjusGY3wIVz4uzCh2v5QO-EAYYASABEgI9PPD_BwE

Black pads Douglas F3 mask (same as above, just with black pads and free shipping at $139) found here: https://www.refattire.com/Smitty-Douglas-Umpire-Face-Mask.html

Honig's K4 mask - You can buy direct from Honig's or I think there are some on here for sale. I think these are great masks.  They fit my face well and offer a lot of protection for those starting out.  They are surprisingly lightweight due to being hollow steel.  But yet, they offer unsurpassed coverage and protection for the weight with large ear guards, a large chin guard and even a forehead extension on the top!  Views are good and Honig's calfskin leather pads and harness are excellent as well.  New for $69.99 + $10.95 shipping... or you can probably pick one up off eBay or possibly even here for $50 shipped.  Here's one on eBay for $47 shipped: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Honig-s-UMPIRE-Face-Mask/392168589837?hash=item5b4f11ca0d:g:QAwAAOSw3fxb4w9K:rk:1:pf:0

Another cheap option to find masks is of course eBay.  I just shared a Wilson WTA3007 Dyna Lite catcher's model mask that work great for umpires too on the Buy Sell page under eBay Finds.  It's not my mask, but I really like these for a good cheap mask.  The longer catcher's throat guard keeps me from having to wear a throat guard at my level of ball.  There's a new one listed for under $30 shipped right now.  There is also a Wilson WTA3017 Dyna Lite steel mask for sale for around the same price on eBay.  The ones with vinyl are a bit heavier, but most of us started out with something like these or a Rawlings that weighed 3 pounds, so even a steel mask is light to me now.

If your budget allows $150 I'd wholly recommend the All Star MAG - eBay has one available for sale right now with an asking price of $150 in silver with black pads.  The seller will even include an All Star MAG throat guard with it at $150.  You won't beat that price - retail at most places is $225 for mask and another $30 for TG.  It's only there because everyone is clamoring for the black version now or else it'd been scooped up already.  It's wicked light and offers great sightlines with their I-bar technology.   Plus, it just looks cool!  eBay link here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Allstar-FM400MAG-System-7-Catcher-Umpire-Mask/183559196129?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

:ranton:I've had the All Star MAG, Nike Ti, Diamond BL-Ump, +POS Zro-G, Mizuno 2qa-122, Nike steel, All Star steel, Wilson WTA3017, Wilson A3007 (aluminum), Wilson WTA3007 and others I can't remember already.   The point is it doesn't always matter what someone else thinks is a great mask.  Many times the dollars spent are for the name.  I'd wholly recommend trying some on and then buying what fits you best and/or makes you the most comfortable.  Having a nice expensive mask won't allow you to make your calls any better. Especially if you're constantly adjusting it or possibly afraid a foul ball might dent your $500 purchase.  Buy the best fitting and feeling mask that you can buy and go out there and have some fun! That's my :2cents::rantoff:

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@ChrisUrbz has a Douglas Force3 mask with tan pads available on here. You just have to look for it. And he might be willing to deal a bit since he has had this up for sale for a good bit.

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I'm moving this to the equipment forum.    @Mark Gaver .... go to this forum and do a search ....you'll be reading for days with great information: personal opinions and experiences! :nod: :D :lookup:cheers:

here is a link to the equipment forum and me plugging in the "search this forum" and only using the word 'masks' ...  52 pages of conversations!  You can fine tune to put as much detail or as little as needed in your search:

http://umpire-empire.com/search/?q=masks&type=forums_topic&nodes=9

wolfe_man gives a great beginners course above however!  Thanks John ....

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@Mark Gaver, I tagged you in the thread about the Force3 v1that Chris has for sale. You might be able to negotiate it down from his $145 asking price as he has had it for sale for some time. 

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@Mark Gaver I am guessing you are looking to spend in the $80- $90 range, I have had a great experience with my Diamond iX3 (cheaper than BL) in my first year.

 

If you're looking to save money on a mask and spend it elsewhere I would highly recommend. It is very light and provides great vision for $70. The pads are not the greatest but can easily be replaced if you want to. I would say it all depends on the level of game you are calling but the iX3 was just fine for JV baseball here in TX last year. 

I would say if you are looking to buy today, use GREEN10 on Ump Attire and save a little bit of cash. 

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I own a Diamond BL and a Dyna-Lite, here are my thoughts:

Dyna-Lite: It's pretty heavy compared to the aluminum BL, stock pads are ok-ish, throat extension is trash and you'll need an after market throat guard. It is pretty tough and is a bit cheaper, so it'll get the job done fine.

Diamond BL: I. Love. This. Mask. Seriously. It's ridiculously light aluminum with very serviceable stock pads, a forehead extension, and a good throat extension.

However...

I would suggest you instead buy a Diamond iX3 and replace the crappy pads with Team Wendy pads. The mask is EXACTLY the same except for the pads and the different style of coating on the mask (which I have had no issues with). This will cost only slightly more than a BL, but offers superior protection.

-BR

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I completely agree with @BlueRanger! The Diamond iX3 is a WONDERFUL mask. And I would not hesitate to use it at any level. As a matter of fact, many Division 1 umpires us the Diamond as well as MLB umpire Gerry Davis.

Save money with the iX3 a d replace the pads as soon as you can afford it.

That is not to take away from the Dyna-lite. It is a steady tried and true mask that has been used at all levels for a decade plus, if not longer.

I will have one for sale once I get up the gumption to rid it of the plastic dipped coating.

Another great thing about both masks is that they are quite easy to powder coat just about any color you want. So if you dont like the look. It isnt hard to change.

If you want a more in depth explanation of the two rigs. I'm sure @MadMax will eventually be around to this thread to and give a full breakdown of the pros and cons of each.

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Another great option - cheap - is the All-Star FM25 that you can typically get on ebay for about $20.  That + a good pair of pads and you're set to go.  I 'tank' of mask that's light enough to be worn all day, but takes a real beating w/ good vision also!  Attached is my FM25 project from a few years ago

fm25redo.jpg

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4 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

Another great option - cheap - is the All-Star FM25 that you can typically get on ebay for about $20.  That + a good pair of pads and you're set to go.  I 'tank' of mask that's light enough to be worn all day, but takes a real beating w/ good vision also!  Attached is my FM25 project from a few years ago

fm25redo.jpg

You can find these at Big 5. Also at Big 5 you can find the Easton masks. 

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21 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

You can find these at Big 5. Also at Big 5 you can find the Easton masks. 

you can get them at Ebay super cheap also!

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Speaking of cheap, the Champro/Champion masks are pretty light (lightweight versions) and are surprisingly comfortable.

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I'd recommend the Diamond to start. But with different pads. But I'd also suggest trying on a couple. While I wouldn't hesitate to wear my Diamond in a game, I prefer my Honig's lightweight, it's an ounce or 2 heavier, but I think the eye opening is slightly larger. Could also be the round bars vs. rectangular. 

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Diamond BL is my recommendation for what you describe.  The pads that it comes with are good enough for most games and can be upgraded later to TW.  The frame is good for any level that most of us will ever see.  I like the finish on the BL better than the painted finish on the standard model.  Between the pads and the finish its worth the extra $30 IMO. 

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12 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

Speaking of cheap, the Champro/Champion masks are pretty light (lightweight versions) and are surprisingly comfortable.

Agreed here. If I wasnt in love with my Diamond, and now my Nikes, I would have held onto mine.

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On 12/13/2018 at 11:57 AM, wolfe_man said:

Speaking of cheap, the Champro/Champion masks are pretty light (lightweight versions) and are surprisingly comfortable.

These are PERFECT for new guys! Especially when they're HS guys (like myself) just getting into umpiring or if they don't have a lot of $ to spend. You can grab a Champro Steel with TWs and a throat guard is about $80.

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You will be happy with the Diamond. I prefer Wilson pads to TW (I'm sure I'm in the minority) and I use both leather and the memory foam pads in my Diamond masks. I have a Big League set up and I like it just fine. I guess it comes down to what you find a good deal on. I prefer the Wilson pads though. I'm sure you could find a used frame and pads and come out cheaper than a new BL.

My other favorite setup is is the +POS Zero-G frame with Wilson pads. You can get a frame only for $39 or with serviceable black pads for $50. I know some people have problems with ordering from POS but I never have. I use Diamond and POS masks all the time and I think they are not only great buys but some of the best setups for any level of baseball.

I personally don't like the Dyna-Lite. I have one and even stripped the vinyl off but it's still too heavy for me after having gotten used to the Diamond and POS setups (both are really light!). The F3 is cool and I'm sure very protective but also too heavy/awkward feeling for me. 

Just my $.02

 

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