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Johnnyheat

What to buy.

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I need advice from you guys on umpire gear. I just finished a three day Umpire school that educated me about the basics of umpiring in the two man system. The A B C positions, angles, where to move to when the ball is in play, balks, home plate stances, balls and strikes and angles on plays at the plate, etc . I'm new to Umpiring and have been asked to do Little League and adult league games starting in the fall.

Should I buy the best gear now? or start with lesser gear? The Wilson Platinum Chest Protector is $144.00 at Ump-Attire. some of the others I have looked at online are around $90.00, not much of a difference. As far as mask goes it's hard to pick one out without trying a few on, I have a big head, size 8 hat, Not sure if that matters, I hear NB plate shoes rock, Any thoughts to gear would be a big help.

I'm 6'2, 220 and not too concerned about the cost. I plan on going up to the High School level in the future and live in Florida so over heating can be a concern.

BTW The Strike Zone is the name of the umpire school I went to in ft Myers FL. www.strikezoneumpires.com

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I need advice from you guys on umpire gear. I just finished a three day Umpire school that educated me about the basics of umpiring in the two man system. The A B C positions, angles, where to move to when the ball is in play, balks, home plate stances, balls and strikes and angles on plays at the plate, etc . I'm new to Umpiring and have been asked to do Little League and adult league games starting in the fall.

Should I buy the best gear now? or start with lesser gear? The Wilson Platinum Chest Protector is $144.00 at Ump-Attire. some of the others I have looked at online are around $90.00, not much of a difference. As far as mask goes it's hard to pick one out without trying a few on, I have a big head, size 8 hat, Not sure if that matters, I hear NB plate shoes rock, Any thoughts to gear would be a big help.

I'm 6'2, 220 and not too concerned about the cost. I plan on going up to the High School level in the future and live in Florida so over heating can be a concern.

BTW The Strike Zone is the name of the umpire school I went to in ft Myers FL. www.strikezoneumpires.com

If you're planning on moving into high school games, definitely buy the best gear you can afford now. There are a ton of threads on this board and the other boards about equipment, so I won't get into everything.....

Masks - Any Wilson, Champro magnesium, Diamond lightweight

Chest protectors - Wilson Gold, Platinum, or Charcoal. Some of us have the Douglas but they're not really available anymore.

Shin guards - Not as important, but find some that fit. I have the Wilson platinums now and they are the best I've worn.

Shoes - Reebok or New Balance plate shoes. I have worn both quite a bit and the Reeboks are more comfortable and lighter. (My opinion of course) Base shoes - Something comfortable. I have worn the NB and Reebok base shoes and they're both comfortable. I like the look of the Reeboks better.

Pants - Honigs polywool if cost is no issue. Otherwise the Davis or Smitty pants aren't bad.

Shirts - Stay away from Dalco and Officials Choice. I like Honigs and Smitty shirts. The Smitty shirts are popular with a lot of people on here.

Oh yeah, get wool hats that are fitted, not the mesh flex-fit hats.

Hope that gets you started in the right direction.

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If you're planning on moving into high school games, definitely buy the best gear you can afford now. There are a ton of threads on this board and the other boards about equipment, so I won't get into everything.....

Masks - Any Wilson, Champro magnesium, Diamond lightweight

Chest protectors - Wilson Gold, Platinum, or Charcoal. Some of us have the Douglas but they're not really available anymore.

Shin guards - Not as important, but find some that fit. I have the Wilson platinums now and they are the best I've worn.

Shoes - Reebok or New Balance plate shoes. I have worn both quite a bit and the Reeboks are more comfortable and lighter. (My opinion of course) Base shoes - Something comfortable. I have worn the NB and Reebok base shoes and they're both comfortable. I like the look of the Reeboks better.

Pants - Honigs polywool if cost is no issue. Otherwise the Davis or Smitty pants aren't bad.

Shirts - Stay away from Dalco and Officials Choice. I like Honigs and Smitty shirts. The Smitty shirts are popular with a lot of people on here.

Oh yeah, get wool hats that are fitted, not the mesh flex-fit hats.

Hope that gets you started in the right direction.

I like the mesh hats! Of course I don't wear one behind the dish because I have HSM. But everything he said is good advice.

Buying pro gear now will save you money in the future. They last, probably as much as three times as long as non pro gear. They're built to last and are the best protection you can buy. I have, literally, ALL Wilson gear, but Diamond makes a good mask, All-Star makes some good stuff (I hear they're putting out a new CP in the near future), and some Champion gear isn't that bad.

Everybody on this board has their own opinions about what looks good so that will be kind of up to you. But everybody will agree that buying pro gear is a no brainer if you can swing it.

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Buy the good stuff! Start with the most important - a Gold or Platinum CP... New Balance or Reebok shoes... a quality, lightweight mask or helmet... Dri-Lo or Ultimate ball bags...

Not only will you be well protected, but check the resale value of quality products vs. junk on ebay. If you decide to sell, you can recoup your investment.

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Ditto on buying pro gear.

As for pants, the Honig's Premium poly wool slacks are simply the best. I've got a bunch 'cause there's nothing better.

But I also drag along four other pair, just in case I'm not sure who I'm working with. The Honig's are charcoal gray. I also carry a couple pair of heather gray(plate/bases) and Davis (plate/bases) because they're also a different color, and semi-popular. Kinda overkill, but anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

Get a 1 1/2" black belt. No patent leather, as that's gone out of style.

Standard black ball bags. But check with your local HS organization, as sometimes they're a bit behind the times, and require navy.

A red flag for working LL games, Majors and below.

A black jacket, with the white shoulder stripes. That's pretty universal.

A cup that fits you right. I like the long legged Shock Doctor pants, with a carbon fiber cup. But everyone is built differently. Find what works for you.

A good, wheeled bag for dragging your gear around.

Lineup holder. I've found these car registration holders that are perfect. They have a little clip on top, and just the right size, and fit in my left ball bag nicely. Pens/pencils as needed.

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If cost is not an option then get the Best!

Wilson Golf or Platinum. Wilson Titanium mask.

Reebok shoes are the best!

I also live in Florida and prefer the Mesh Hats in the summer.

On a side note anyone else know anything about this Strike Zone School?

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If cost is not an option then get the Best!

Wilson Golf or Platinum. Wilson Titanium mask.

Reebok shoes are the best!

I also live in Florida and prefer the Mesh Hats in the summer.

On a side note anyone else know anything about this Strike Zone School?

On the home page they have this statement:

"We have more Major League Umpire instructors than any other school in the country. Check them out on our "Instructors" page."

In looking at that page I didn't notice any MLB umpires. A few former MiLB guys but maybe I missed it. At any rate, I doubt they have more "Major League Umpire instructors than any other school in the country".

http://www.strikezoneumpires.com/Instructors.html

Top of above page says: We have more major league umpires than any other school in the country...

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I agree with the previous posts about the pro gear. I worked myself up to a Wilson WV/ Platinum set up this season (Mask, CP and SG) and the only regret is that I did not start here. I spent more in the long run and I was not as well protected as I could have been. It probably would have only cost me an additional $75. There are some retailers that sell packages at a reduced cost.

I would also recommend buying and wearing a throat protector (aka dangler) and maybe a second mask as a back up. I like the All Star FM25 in addition the Wilson. A good cup is also very important for obvious reasons!

I cannot add much to the list of other uniform items except....find out what you association wears before you buy your items. They may also have some special deals in place already.

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Get the best you can. Peoply will vary on which CP/ Mask is best. Gold, Platinum, Douglas... Find what you like best.

As for uniforms check with which association you're working with will want.

I'd love to hear about your experience at camp.

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Don't forget the undershirts.... Seeing as how you are going to be based in Florida you won't be needing to purchase a "cold weather" shirt (like myself) but you might want to consider hot weather ones. For years I worked with a cotton t-shirt under my gearpolo, and it became a soaking, stinking, uncomfortable mess that just clung to my body by about the 4th inning. Then I purchased a couple of Diamond "hot weather" loose fit undershirts from Ump Attire and would rank this with the must have items that I will never be without again.

As far as shoes... My Reebock plate shoes are more comfortable then my base shoes!

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If cost is not an option then get the Best!

+1. Cost is the biggest factor. Buy the best you can afford, then save for the best.

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Do a search under the equipment forum , and you'll find enough reading material to take you through the off-season!! :D

Agree w/ all of the above ........

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1. Check with the association that you will be joining. Ask about uniform standards......then reevaluate....if they have adjustable hats, buy fitted....if they tell you to buy walmart pants....buy real umpire pants......(be ahead of the curve....)

2. Buy the best gear you can afford...Trust me and many others when we tell you it is cheaper to buy the best gear now than to constantly upgrade as your level improves. I cant tell you how much money I spent doing this...

3.Dress like the level you want to be, and not the level you start out at.......

I started out in the Umpire t-shirt and shorts set, wearing an adjustable mesh hat.....all association issue for doing youth ball...........but I saw Umpires doing the higher levels wearing proper uniforms and using proper mechanics....

So I pushed myself out a bit financially by buying the proper uniform and attending a mechanics clinic....I did take some grief from my youth ball colleagues when I started up the fall season ..........but only 2-3 games into it, I was asked to join the higher league....and never looked back.....

you can start out by skipping that step........

Edited by Stan W.
usual suspects-spelling and clarity

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One Diamond chest protector (used for five games): $75 plus shipping

One suitable hard shell chest protector (Wilson Platinum): $150 plus shipping

Total cost for a suitable chest protector: $225 plus shipping

That was then. Now, you can get one for less.

Heavy, uncomfortable plate shoes (used for 12 games): $75 plus shipping

Light, comfortable plate shoes (New Balance): $100 with free shipping

Total cost for suitable plate shoes: $175 plus shipping

You get the picture. I should have bought the $150 Platinum and the $100 NBs right out of the chute. That goes for almost everything. It even goes for stuff like Under Armour. Don't buy the cheap, uncomfortable compression wear you get at Target or Wal-Mart, buy the Under Armour at the outset. This whole deal is about comfort and protection. You compromise both when you go cheap. Then, after you realize how important it is to compromise neither, you go for the good. And you wind up paying more, only after enduring that initial period of discomfort and inadequate protection.

...

Edited by Kevin Finnerty

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As said above. Get the good stuff. Platinum chest protector; great mask (I use catchers Easton Stealth Mask; and usually crack one a season); I also use catchers shin guards Easton Stealth ones and cut off the bottoms; New Balance Shoes; both plate and base........ and wear a throat protector 6'' one...That will cover it... Dont get cheap. For pants, if HS, buy the Poly/wools; but for average games the smitty combo pants work great..and in FLA...HYDRATE....John

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I like the mesh hats! Of course I don't wear one behind the dish because I have HSM. But everything he said is good advice.

Buying pro gear now will save you money in the future. They last, probably as much as three times as long as non pro gear. They're built to last and are the best protection you can buy. I have, literally, ALL Wilson gear, but Diamond makes a good mask, All-Star makes some good stuff (I hear they're putting out a new CP in the near future), and some Champion gear isn't that bad.

Everybody on this board has their own opinions about what looks good so that will be kind of up to you. But everybody will agree that buying pro gear is a no brainer if you can swing it.

the trouble I find with the mesh hat is the it is not made from a nature fabric--after a couple of hot days --no matter how much it is washed there is a oder that never leaves--sort of like the SEINFELD show when Jerry could not get the sink out of his car--no matter how much you wash that type of hat you can not get the stink out.

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the trouble I find with the mesh hat is the it is not made from a nature fabric--after a couple of hot days --no matter how much it is washed there is a oder that never leaves--sort of like the SEINFELD show when Jerry could not get the sink out of his car--no matter how much you wash that type of hat you can not get the stink out.

That may be for you. I assume you wear a traditional mask. I wear an HSM with no hat in the dish so I wear my hat half the time so it doesn't get a lot of wear.

To each their own.

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I spray my hats with a Lysol type product after I finish my set of games and allow them to dry...it really helps control the odor that mesh can accumulate. But wool does not have that issue AS BAD as mesh but they will start to grow after a while...

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As said above. Get the good stuff. Platinum chest protector; great mask (I use catchers Easton Stealth Mask; and usually crack one a season); I also use catchers shin guards Easton Stealth ones and cut off the bottoms; New Balance Shoes; both plate and base........ and wear a throat protector 6'' one...That will cover it... Dont get cheap. For pants, if HS, buy the Poly/wools; but for average games the smitty combo pants work great..and in FLA...HYDRATE....John

I would rethink your mask choice.

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