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  1. Stu, It's my understanding the NFL establishes the "Official Uniform Supplier" and then it's up to the teams (usually each one has an equipment manager) to make sure the right uniforms get issued to their players. My guess is that individual players take it upon themselves to buy their own socks, wrist bands, or other unapproved stuff and put it on. (If you're old enough or studied the league history, you might remember Jim McMahon's headband protest...)That could also be alleviated by having the equipment manager or their underling visually inspect players before they leave the locker room on game day to insure compliance. I would think these are grown men and that wouldn't be necessary...and here we are. You make a good point about "geographical exceptions". Yes, if I work a game in a financially depressed area, I would make a mental note and then leave that note in the game notes in the hopes that my association is feeding back to the league that there is a concern about uniform compliance. We do have some travel league fields in my area that aren't fenced all the way around. I like uniforms on coaches at those games because it's way too easy for some parent or unknown adult to come onto the field and or into the dugout. I like visually knowing instantly who is and is not supposed to be out there. ~Dog
  2. There was a time when a uniform in ANY walk of life...meant something. Fortunately, there are still some areas of society where it still does. And there have been numerous psychological and sociological tests done for many decades now that equate professionalism with those who wore a uniform. I used to work in a hockey pro shop. We charged $10 to sharpen a pair of skates when I took over. After a few weeks of observation, I scheduled a rep from Blademaster to come to our shop, ordered in some pizzas and formally had all my guys trained by the factory rep who made our skate sharpener. The day after the training, I moved our fee to $15 and...required whomever was sharpening skates to wear clean coveralls or an apron with their name and the shop's logo, which the shop provided. We had a few customers complain...at first. Within a month, the market had accepted our pricing. Now, maybe they were getting better service, maybe they weren't...perception became reality and the uniform assisted with that. As for sports on the whole, well...no matter how old you are, we have all seen sports change. In some ways positively, in some ways negatively. I enjoy engaging casual NFL fans when they learn the league has a department whose sole responsibility is uniform enforcement to include the issuance of fines. (Perhaps other sports do, too...) It's interesting to see these casual fans get upset when they read of a player getting fined for wearing socks which though conformed to team colors, did not conform to the team's registered striping. It's typically the younger guys more freshly out of college who struggle with this compliance because at the NCAA level, they allow for much more individual customization of uniforms and on-field apparel and accessories. What this has translated to in the above scenario is...There are some (not all) people for whom a uniform is optional or a suggestion. Maybe in their day job they wear a suit and tie, maybe they are a personal trainer and their professional attire is casual sportswear. If they are a HS coach, perhaps they are a teacher...regardless, if an umpire is not helping managers and coaches to understand that a lack of proper uniform constitutes a rules violation, we would see some truly amazing outfits on these coaches, no question. Part of playing, coaching and umpiring baseball includes uniform standards. The rules are clear on this and you were as correct enforcing it as you were every other rule in the book during the game. ~Dawg
  3. Greetings brothers, During quarantine, I got a great deal on some Wilson doe-skin pads. I have always wanted to try them out on my Wilson Dyna-Lite aluminum mask. I used them on 2 plates over the last weekend and was pleased overall. 95 degree day, nice and soft and cool on my face. So, my superpower is perspiration. I noticed these pads took on a darker hue on the inside edges that touch my face from absorbing all of my sweat. I used a fresh towel and wiped them down immediately after both games. I know that because these are all-natural materials that they are going to breakdown and need to be replaced more frequently than something man-made. Do you guys have any tips or special techniques to help make these pads last? After fall season ends, are there any gels or creams that should be rubbed on these pads to keep them from dry rotting? Should they be bagged with a moist paper towel or will that just promote mold? Again...any information would be useful. ~Dawg
  4. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sbnation.com/platform/amp/2020/2/15/21138987/michigan-batter-ejected-bat-swipe-baseball-unwritten-rules-nonsense-vanderbilt I completely understand why this player was ejected. And yet, my read on this was not challenging PU's call but, disgust with himself. Perhaps the message here then is don't put an umpire in that kind of position to make a decision about your intent...? I don't call college ball and I have no ambition to do so. I have encountered players who have waived their bat out where the last pitch was that they were caught looking at and met that with a, "We'll have none of that today, sir..." and that was the end of it. Pardon my ignorance, is this where we are in leagues where the players shave?
  5. Greetings brethren, I have been wanting to pull the trigger on the above mask for a few months. HQ4sports.com has it listed at $89.99 minus a $5 coupon and plus $9 for shipping. Has anyone seen a better price on this mask? Also, has anyone ever ordered from this website and was it a clean transaction? ~SED
  6. Greetings brethren, As part of my pre-season prep, I am having my eyes examined next week. I have always worn glasses to see better far away from me. However, for the last few months, I have had to start removing my glasses for reading and to see things up close. I suspect I will be receiving a prescription for bifocals. For those of you out there who wear glasses, can you please talk about your experiences with this change in vision as you lose your ability to see clearly closely? Was it a difficult process relative to our craft? What might I expect? Do you wear your bifocals behind the plate, on the bases? Never? Again, just curious what others' experiences were/are...what has worked? Not worked? And what to do and not do. ~S.E.D.
  7. Jimurray, I am calling baseball. Man in Blue, yes...exactly. I had always heard that hammering a strike call was a softball specific mechanic. And thank you VERY much for referencing the NFHS rulebook as I was also not aware of this. ~Dawg
  8. Greetings Brethren, So, I'm with a new association this spring. Like many associations around the United States, they have contracts from LL up to D-III. I attended a cage session recently, which I always make a part of my pre-season preparation. There were a number of veteran umpires there working with each umpire who had scheduled time. My strike call is a verbalization followed shortly thereafter by a pistol with my right hand. The only feedback I received following my session was that my strike verbalization and mechanic MUST be synchronized and I MUST use a hammer motion. I've always tried to be a student of the craft. I am not a professional umpire and I was raised that anything worth doing is worth doing to the best of my abilities and that's been my approach to the craft. We live in an era of nearly limitless umpiring resources at our fingertips and I take advantage of them whenever I can. I maintain an open mind that the craft is always evolving. The way we umpired 5 years ago is not the way we will umpire in 5 more years. That being said, without naming my association, I have the following questions to all of you: 1) I've read a great deal that the pointing/pistol mechanic should only be used with a 4 man crew because you are taking your eyes off your prime responsibility...everything at the plate. Old habits die hard and I will be working this pre-season to utilize a hammer mechanic to maintain my focus. Is this the choice all of you would make? 2) I have never heard that the mechanic and the verbalization MUST be in synch. Again, I am open to working on this because I want to send my new local brothers the message that if they have taken the time to work with me on their own time and expense that I am willing to listen and conform to what the association's understood written and perhaps un-written standards are. Can someone here provide some additional context on the need for these things to be in synch? Is this simply standardizing the call on the whole for the association or is there another practical reason for this? Thank you and as always, I'll hang up and listen off the air... ~Dawg
  9. Greetings Mr. Hickman, I am having pants hemmed for the upcoming season now. Do you have a stock# for the JoAnn's thread that you selected for the new Smitty poly-spandex pants? Going into that place makes my head hurt... ~SeeingEyeDog
  10. Thunderheads, The bit about wearing your shin guards and plate shoes at the tailor came from...and I quote, "our man Scott Kennedy...at Ump-Attire.com". He has done so many great videos regarding their gear. I don't remember which one it was (likely the one on pants), but he was the one I heard talk about doing this to get proper measurements and fit. Good tools...PROPER TOOLS are not cheap and that includes our clothing. The last thing anybody wants to happen after buying a $50 pair of pants is run into a problem with the tailoring. I thought I'd check in here to see what other recommendations people had and as I suspected it would...the Empire provided! All, thanks for all of your responses, comments and remarks. We are a small fraternity. We are a tight fraternity. Thank you for looking after my needs and I look forward to looking after yours. ~SeeingEyeDog
  11. Greetings all, Long time lurker, first time poster...I just bought 2 new pairs of Smitty Poly-Spandex pants to start the season. One pair of PU and one pair of BU. Offhand, I am extremely impressed with their quality and I'm looking forward to wearing them. I've read a little bit elsewhere online that it's advisable to wear your plate shoes and shin guards when getting the PU pants hemmed at the tailor and also wearing your base shoes for the BU pants. And that you want the rear edge of your pants one half inch to one inch off the ground. Are cuffs or regular hem preferred? If cuffs, how tall should the cuffs be? Is there anything else I should be telling the tailor directly in terms of type of thread used or the way the pants are stitched to form the hems? ~SED
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