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FranklinT last won the day on February 26 2011

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  1. I’d be curious to understand the technological advancements in football pads (Douglas, Schutt, etc) over the years compared to the technological advancement, or lack thereof, of umpire chest protectors.
  2. I remember an interview with former NBA referee Joe DeRosa (who owns Smitty now and owned Purchase Officials in Akron Ohio) and he talked about Smitty starting as a lanyard company and expanding.
  3. Terrific point. Ive noticed a good number of MLB guys who have worn a towel around their neck when working the plate in 90-100ish degree temperatures. I know for a fact Ive seen Hunter on TV with a towel around his neck behind the plate. Theres nothing wrong with it.
  4. Thanks! Im ok with a small, discreet placement of a manufacturer's logo. I understand the realities of business and putting a logo out there helps drive sales and product awareness. I get that. Im ok with the small "H" on the back of the current Honig's shirts and jackets, the old "Honig's" script on the back of their shirts and jackets, the small "S" on the back of Smitty's shirts and jackets (baseball, football, basketball, etc.), but this logo placement on these shorts and the new Smitty football pants is ridiculous. This forum is generally a very pro Smitty forum. I don't get it or understand it. I don't think their quality is that good and I remember the old days 10 years ago when Smitty was new on the scene their stuff was regarded as low level.
  5. Ordered a pair of black Smitty football shorts from UA a few days ago and couldn't believe the giant oversized "S" logo on the back belt loop. I ordered a pair last year that were plain without this logo so I hope they aren't moving in this direction. I noticed their new CFO shirts have a giant "S" logo on the front of them as well. I can't remember a more ridiculous or obtrusive instance of a manufacturer placing their logo on a pair of officiating gear (other than the Japanese and Latin American umpires with advertising on their uniforms). Ill be sending these back. Am I nuts? Would anybody ever wear a piece of officiating clothing with a logo this obvious and tacky? It appears the Smitty new "tapered" football pants also have this logo on the back as well.
  6. I recall old photos/discussion of Mark Wegner having a frankenstein'ed chest protector using Wilson/WV Gold black plates over what I believe was hockey padding. An interesting rig Ill look for some pics. Reminded me of the above pic.
  7. To each their own. I feel supporting a company like Douglas is like shopping at a local, family owned store where as buying Wilson is like shopping at a Wal Mart. To each their own.
  8. Ive worn pretty much everything in the past...Wilson Gold, Wilson Platinum, the black Wilson chest protector that came with bicep guards (can't remember what it was called and its not being made anymore I don't think), a black Douglas, and the current gray Douglas. I couldn't be happier with the current version of the Douglas with the All Star delta flex harness. I like the idea of supporting an American and small company like Douglas and like the idea that I can easily have it customized and/or send it back for refurbishment. I can also vouch for Warren's comments about good CPs generally holding their value. Ive bought and sold so many that I can't even remember anymore.
  9. This really sums up umpiring in my local area for high school and most specifically, summer ball. A lot of guys including myself have no desire to advance to a level beyond where we are (its not that we are lazy or don't care its an issue of balancing life, full time work, other commitments, etc.) and have been happier with a reduced schedule and enjoying the weekends.
  10. I view this as somewhat of a loaded question because the avenues to advance and move up are so varied and there are so many variables. Here are some random takes and perspectives. Ive been, at times for a brief minute, been jealous of others who have broken into upper level college baseball. But that brief moment of jealousy goes away when I remember they went to pro school, toiled in the minors for a while, and then busted a$$ to get on the radar in college. That entails significant travel and personal sacrifices. When we see those guys on tv working a NCAA regional, super regional, and/or CWS we sometimes don't also think of all the sacrifices they made over the prior 10-30 years to get to that point. Nothing wrong with sacrifices, but there's only so much time in the day and we all choose where and how to best spend it. Even the idea of breaking into JUCO/D3 type college games doesn't do much for me when I think of all the sacrifices. I can't work afternoon weekday games and am not willing to drive significant distances. I have a friend trying to break into college football and our other friends are confused and baffled by the distances he drives for a D3 game on a weekend. But those are the sacrifices you have to make. Politics and the good ol boys network can be a double edged sword. Once you get into that group or impress some of those people and it benefits your career, we don't also say "hey I'm so lucky to be politically connected." Our state association puts on baseball clinics in a few areas of the state each February and March. They are a complete joke - disorganized, poor instruction....basically a complete waste of time. I haven't been to one in a while but I know my lack of presence every year hurts my state tournament chances and my ability to get my name out to people with the state. Its hard for me to go to these when it feels like a giant ripoff. But the guys who march in line and show up and pay get better opportunities. I don't think advancing to the point of a good high school umpire is all that hard. A lot of us work high school in a small area where all the top guys are known. Most are serious umpires who enjoy the profession and craft and at the end of the day want to work with strong partners they can trust in a big game. Just don't do anything stupid and piss off important people and moving up to be a top varsity level umpire is not that hard. I think sometimes where guys can be better which will help their advancement includes thinking and acting like a top umpire in terms of presence, handling situations, and being a good crew mate.
  11. I did a retrofit on a Gold and Platinum. Felt the TW padding was very heavy and dense, like slipping on that bib when getting x rays. I wasn't nuts about it and ended up selling all of them and went with a stock Douglas. For mask pads, the TW are awesome but the CP retrofits weren't nearly as good.
  12. Pretty sure things were bumpy there with quality and service as Dick Honig was "transitioning" out and shortly after the company was sold to the current owner in the Denver area. I have had the ability to see a few Honig's products up close and personally lately and the quality seems to be better and similar to Gerry Davis, Smitty, etc. Thinking of giving Honig's more of a try. Im not a fan of all of the Smitty items.
  13. Cut the other one off! I know a number of guys have removed those side pads. I don’t wear a Gold anymore but I did remove those when I was wearing the Gold.
  14. They run a good ship and ate Honig’s lunch (from when Honigs was the premier supplier). Heres another good example. I sent an email a while ago about UA price matching a competitors $10 lower price on the same exact item. They said we don’t price match because of the range of services and brands they carry, but provided me with a few promo codes to save either $5 or $10 based on the order $$. I thought that was cool.
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