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Independent League Hook

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I was at an Independent League game with my 3 y/o son yesterday at Alexian Field. It was the Gary Railcats visiting the Schaumburg Flyers. On the field was a 3 man crew. I tried to study their rotations and see where each guy goes on specific situations. Believe me there were plenty of situatuions. There were about 30 hits and 4 errors. Eversince I've been officiating, any pro sporting event I go to, I'd watch the officials/umpires. One thing that caught my eye was that the home plate ump was using the all mighty hook for his mask.:D He would normaly take off his mask with his left hand but between innings he would put his mask on his hook. Funny, I've never seen it before, but I have read about it on this forum. He also had two ball bags. I use two ball bags myself, but most guys like using only one. Just some observations from the independent league.

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Probably a silly question, but what is the hook?

This. Enjoy the video.

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One thing that caught my eye was that the home plate ump was using the all mighty hook for his mask.:D

He also had two ball bags. I use two ball bags myself, but most guys like using only one. Just some observations from the independent league.

Two bags are fine, but only if they're black.

The Hook = Dork, no matter the level. Did he also have a holster for his plate brush? I know a guy with both, AND two baby blue ball bags (and a beanie). I kid you not.

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ball bags don't have to be black, it's preference, and sorry, the colored bags do look good with a nicely pressed uniform. I use charcoal bags with my charcoal slacks, heather bags with heather slacks etc. I ALWAYS use two bags. using the hook means he likes to be organized, and nothing else (no I don't use one). A lot of people use the 1" brim on their hat, especially the older umpires I've worked with. Your brim size doesn't effect your ability to umpire positively or negatively, again, it's preference. I use a Shock FX, and wear skull caps umderneath... am I a dork to? Not sure you want to be insulting people.

Edited by yerout13

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Wait. You quote the late, great George Carlin, and then question whether I should be insulting anybody? Has everyone lost their sense of humor?

Black ball bags (and not the Honig's leather ones)

Six or eight stitch hats.

No more glossy belts or shoes.

No white undershirts (before OR after Labor Day).

No accesories on your belt.

No dusting of bases or pitchers plates.

No Leather Luster on anything.

Five years of experience before you don a plate coat. (they should be licensed).

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ball bags don't have to be black, it's preference, and sorry, the colored bags do look good with a nicely pressed uniform.

I agree its a preference. My preference is Black. Been wearing black ball bags for 20 years and I have never seen anyone wear different colored ball bags and look good with them.

But for those of you who do use other colors that is your choice.

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I've seen umpires who wear bags that match the shirt color, if their uniforms are pressed and creased it does look good. I always go with the same color as my slacks, that works for me. I also have no trouble with patent leather shoes and belts, again, if the uniform looks good they add a nice touch to it. I don't use them, but again, if the guy takes pride in his uniform you can tell, and it looks fine. this is of course my opinion.

if your shirt has white in the trim, or is white, then a white T-shirt is fine. I tend to wear Black under the cream shirt, and whatever the trim color of the shirt I have on is. I do have a number of colors shirt wise, so as you can imagine there are a lot of possible combinations. I get bored with the basics, very simply. Like to add some color to the uniform.

The dork comment didn't read to me as a joke, sorry, maybe it's how I read it. If I misread your intent then you certainly have my apology

Edited by yerout13

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Kylejt you forgot the following.

No Plate Coats with either Reebok or New Balance plate shoes. Just ruins the look. Think wearing a suit with sneakers.

No sunglasses on top of the hat.

No tabbaco tin in the back pocket, for those who work in leagues that allow it.

No undershirt sleeve showing.

Guys with a little white on their shoe, who can't keep it clean. I'm personally a big fan of a little white on the shoe but must be kept clean at all times.

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Your brim size doesn't effect your ability to umpire positively or negatively, again, it's preference.

I don't care if you're the best umpire on the planet, but if you walk on the field in a dirty uniform, you'll never get respect.

Basically, your brim size may not have a bearing on your ability, but it has a bearing on YOU. The same goes for the umpire hook.

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The length of the loops of your shoelaces should be equal to the length of the brim of your hat.

The color of the inside lining of the shin guards should match the primary color of the undershorts.

The ink used to mark the line-up card changes should match the primary color of the team, so it's easy to tell which team has which line-up card.

The umpire should carry multiple plate brushes to match the conditions of the field -- long, soft bristles for dust; short stiff bristles for mud.

Attach a length of 3/8" tubing to a bulb pump. Put the bulb pump in your pocket and run the tubing down the inside of your pants. After every play, pump the bulb to blow the dust off your shoes and keep them shiny.

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Attach a length of 3/8" tubing to a bulb pump. Put the bulb pump in your pocket and run the tubing down the inside of your pants. After every play, pump the bulb to blow the dust off your shoes and keep them shiny.

You sir, are a genius.

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The length of the loops of your shoelaces should be equal to the length of the brim of your hat.

The color of the inside lining of the shin guards should match the primary color of the undershorts.

The ink used to mark the line-up card changes should match the primary color of the team, so it's easy to tell which team has which line-up card.

The umpire should carry multiple plate brushes to match the conditions of the field -- long, soft bristles for dust; short stiff bristles for mud.

Attach a length of 3/8" tubing to a bulb pump. Put the bulb pump in your pocket and run the tubing down the inside of your pants. After every play, pump the bulb to blow the dust off your shoes and keep them shiny.

HOLY :censored: !!!

I love the bulb pump idea, brilliant :jerkit:

The beanie cap should be removed from every retailer on the planet. Every umpire should send any remaining specimens to a central location to be collected and :fuel:. I have been told two things regarding ball bags: 1. match the color of your hat or 2. wear black to match belt, shoes and harness on your mask/bucket. I have seen the gray bags used before and thought they were fine...just not my style.

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ball bags don't have to be black, it's preference, and sorry, the colored bags do look good with a nicely pressed uniform. I use charcoal bags with my charcoal slacks, heather bags with heather slacks etc. I ALWAYS use two bags. using the hook means he likes to be organized, and nothing else (no I don't use one). A lot of people use the 1" brim on their hat, especially the older umpires I've worked with. Your brim size doesn't effect your ability to umpire positively or negatively, again, it's preference. I use a Shock FX, and wear skull caps umderneath... am I a dork to? Not sure you want to be insulting people.

A part of me wants to agree with some of your statements, but my years and experiences in differing levels of umpiring lead me to tell you it is NOT JUST PREFERENCE....and you can be a fine umpire and if you PREFER to deviate from the expected norms of your association and sport, you will find your self on the outside.....

As an example, if you wore a beanie hat, grey ball bags and heather pants in many of my past and current associations, you better PREFER to do one man LL games because thats all you would be assigned.. and the comment from the assignors would be "good umpire but refuses to meet the dress code".....

The beanie, agreed at one time acceptable, has fallen by the wayside in most associations.........Mine for example only allows combo brims behind the plate and mandates 6-8 stitch caps in the field...

Of the things that are almost universally derided as "SMITTY" the hook is the high on the list......

I am not sure what you are referring to when you say you wear a skull cap, but if you are talking about one of those do-rag things you tie around your head........then you would never be assigned any meaningful games in my any of my associations.......regardless of your ability.....

If you were really good and they thought you might be of value........you would get the "ditch the doo-rag, beanie hat and grey ball bags, meet the dress standard speach" and we will put you on the list.....

it may not be fair..........but you need to emulate/comply with the standards of the association and level you want to work......

Edited by Stan W.

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ball bags don't have to be black, it's preference, and sorry, the colored bags do look good with a nicely pressed uniform. I use charcoal bags with my charcoal slacks, heather bags with heather slacks etc. I ALWAYS use two bags. using the hook means he likes to be organized, and nothing else (no I don't use one). A lot of people use the 1" brim on their hat, especially the older umpires I've worked with. Your brim size doesn't effect your ability to umpire positively or negatively, again, it's preference. I use a Shock FX, and wear skull caps umderneath... am I a dork to? Not sure you want to be insulting people.

Gray ball bags: Definitely years ago. Not a single higher-level umpire takes the field wearing gray ball bags at this time. It may look good to some, but it is no longer seen or recommended.

Bold type: I was being facetious! The Mask Hook is an absolute absurdity. Anyone who uses it is begging for laughs.

Short bill plate cap, or beanie: No, it does not impair your ability to umpire; it limits you to doing games where cognizant, contemporary umpires are not necessary. Anyone who uses it is begging for laughs.

Skull cap: Though it may seem comfortable and practical, it is frowned upon. The HSM is enough of a compromise in the minds of some of these umpiring decision-makers, and a skull cap underneath is definitely not acceptable to a vast majority of them.

... Listen to Stan!

Edited by Kevin Finnerty

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Attach a length of 3/8" tubing to a bulb pump. Put the bulb pump in your pocket and run the tubing down the inside of your pants. After every play, pump the bulb to blow the dust off your shoes and keep them shiny.

Put a second tube down your other pants. It can be used to clean off the plate, so you don't have to use your shoe.

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I've seen umpires who wear bags that match the shirt color, if their uniforms are pressed and creased it does look good.

I agree.

Well, only if the shirt is black.

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Put a second tube down your other pants. It can be used to clean off the plate, so you don't have to use your shoe.

If the tubes in your pants are big enough, the cougar moms up in the seats will love every call you make.

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