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After my first year of youth ball, I'm going to jump into the world of HS baseball this coming spring. To get started, I bought everything Diamond because it seemed to be good intermediate stuff, and it has been.

I know I'll need to get a hard plastic CP for HS ball this spring. I've read all the threads about the fits, sizing, ribs, heat, shoulder gaps, what's "cool," ect.

My situation is a little more specific - I had open heart surgery a few years back. I'm a fit/slender guy so I don't have any additional padding and my sternum is still somewhat fragile. I think I've narrowed my search between the WV Gold and Douglas. Although I wore nothing but All-Star as a catcher, the reviews of the System 7 fit makes me nervous. My question is to those of you that have worn multiple "pro" CPs, which of these do you feel gave the best chest protection? Specifically, the middle chest/sternum area.

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After my first year of youth ball, I'm going to jump into the world of HS baseball this coming spring. To get started, I bought everything Diamond because it seemed to be good intermediate stuff, and it has been.

I know I'll need to get a hard plastic CP for HS ball this spring. I've read all the threads about the fits, sizing, ribs, heat, shoulder gaps, what's "cool," ect.

My situation is a little more specific - I had open heart surgery a few years back. I'm a fit/slender guy so I don't have any additional padding and my sternum is still somewhat fragile. I think I've narrowed my search between the WV Gold and Douglas. Although I wore nothing but All-Star as a catcher, the reviews of the System 7 fit makes me nervous. My question is to those of you that have worn multiple "pro" CPs, which of these do you feel gave the best chest protection? Specifically, the middle chest/sternum area.

can't go wrong with a gold. Good fit and protection. My system 7 is still undergoing adjustment, but it is somewhat bulky. Champion is a good choice as well. I've been hit hard in mine and no ill effects.

The system 7 may not be for you, becuase right down the middle there's a 2" or so gap between the pads.

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Wait,

You mean to tell me that knowing you had open heart surgery, you bought a soft shell CP ???? :wow:

Anyhow ... anything hardshell is going to meet your needs. I wear a Douglas and an All-Star System 7, I've taken good shots with both, and felt nothing with both .... ymmv

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I had a Gold and now have a System 7, and I would feel just fine with both. If the Gold was long enough to cover all your ribs AND you either tighten it up enough or get an All-Star Delta Flex harness to make sure it doesn't slide down and expose the collar bone, I'd say go with the Gold. I've had shots in the mid-chest area that I heard but barely felt. It's got thicker, softer padding than the System 7 CP, but the midchest area is very well protected. You may feel a bit more (pressure, not pain) on side chest and lower shots but not mid chest due to the large plastic plate. And the S7 does NOT slide down on the collarbone.

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Thanks guys.

Thunder - I've been doing mostly 12U and lower with just a few 14U sprinkled in. I've taken some shots this year but nothing more then a stinger or two. I realize that a hard shell CP is the way to go, but my Diamond has really done a good job this year. I think it actually has a hard piece built-in the sternum area, but I could be wrong. I just know that it's much harder in that spot than the others.

Sounds like it's up between WV Gold and Douglas, as I suspected. All things the same, I guess I would lean more towards the Douglas as "The Cowboy" is one of my least favorite umps in the game. It's like wearing Lebron sneakers!!! I'm kidding....kinda. ;) More logically, I've read that the WV isn't ideal for smaller frame guys. I'm 5'11 and a lean 185 - only good thing about having heart surgery before you 30 is it makes you stay in shape!

Fittske - How much would it set me back to have TW retro-fit with the Zorbium padding you were talking about?

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A platinum is also an option for you. if you're in a spot to try things on, then definately do it. I'd think that a WV would not fit the 'bigger' guy rather than a fit guy like you.

TW retro is $119

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on their website, unequal tech. sells a compression shirt with a home-plate-shaped piece of kevlar sewn over the sternum/heart area. For someone in your shoes, I would think the extra engineering would buy some much-welcomed confidence. Not that you would need "extra" protection underneath a WV.

Also, imo, Honig's CP offers substantial protection at a great price. I doubt it will be the very best option, but it is worth consideration.

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I don't think you could go wrong with either a Gold, Douglas or an all star. I am not a bulky guy and i never got my platinum to fit right. I always fly like I was swimming in it. the gold is thicker and it fit me better.

Each chest protector works a little different. The gold uses thinner plates and thicker padding. The Douglas uses thicker plates and thiner padding. The all star uses an overlapping plate design to disperse the impact.

I would not be concerned about the air channel in the all star. The main plates would have to deflect about 3/4" for the plate to touch your chest. While not impossible not very likely from a baseball sized object. I have never heard of CP being caved in.

All of the above is just one gear junkies opinion.

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I have worn a WV Platinum for several years, after wearing a gold for many years. I prefer the Platinum. For reference sake, I am 6'2" and 245#.

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I'm 4'2" 355 and I don't need to wear a CP.

But when I do I wear a Douglas!

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I'm 6'3" and 295 lbs. Which CP do you suggest?

15" Douglas or 15" Allstar. I'm 6'0 170 and the L gold(12") leaves me with some exposed lower ribs. I own the allstar 15" and love the protection it provides.

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I'm 6'3" and 295 lbs. Which CP do you suggest?

15" Douglas or 15" Allstar. I'm 6'0 170 and the L gold(12") leaves me with some exposed lower ribs. I own the allstar 15" and love the protection it provides.

^^^^^^^^^^^ :D

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Glad we got this question answered unequivocally for this guy, so there's absolutely no more ambiguity on which chest protectors would be best for him!! :wave: Actually, it sounds like there's consensus agreement that there are several chest protectors that would all do the job, and give him the confidence he needs to stand in there and not flinch or bail on a chest high inside pitch. I'm 6'2" and about 255 lbs--longer torso. I have a West Vest Platinum, and it does leave my lower ribs on each side covered only by foam (which is why I've now got an absolutely wicked Unequal Vest sitting here in my office as well). However, with the West Platinum, I have never so much as "felt" an impact that struck the protector (I have taken a pop on the lower outside ribs that smarted for a couple of weeks). I've had fast balls strike me directly on the sternum, and they just bounced back toward the pitcher--no difference than if the fast ball had struck my West Gold shin guards (or my Nutty Buddy). I know the West Gold provides at least if not more protection in the sternum area. If I had a heart condition (either surgery or like another on the forum who had a sternum impact that disrupted his heart rhythmn), I would feel really safe, relaxed, and confident with either of the Wilsons or the Allstar System 7. I don't have an Allstar, but I like the fact that it drops down lower and covers more of the solar plexus and those outside lower ribs. And absolute confidence in the gear is what's essential--as doubt, hesitation, and even a twinge of fear is not worth saving some pennies and having lesser protection just because someone else might think it's adequate for them. Me, I'm looking forward to strapping on my Unequal for reals this Spring (and not just in the mirror), and putting my cleaned Platinum up for sale. The Unequal is just simply wicked, covers everything and then some, but I'm also not one who sees fastballs much above 80 and my ticker has never been hurt. In fact, I'm thinking of getting an Unequal soccer shin guard to put on my left forearm--which invariably gets whacked and bruised 2-3 times per season (currently I use a painted black Nike shin guard that I wear when I get a forearm bruise that takes more than the rest of the game to heal). It's plastic plate doesn't absorb as much as I think/hope an Exo plate would--or at least it's worth $24 for me to find out.

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Brother Umpire,

I have had a West Vest since 2000.I umpire college and high school and I also had open heart surgery in 2008. Believe me, that West Vest can take some shots. As we speak I have a new West Vest Gold and the Unequal on the way. I'll let you know, but you can't go wrong with the West Vest. And welcome to the zipper club.

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Just bought a WV Gold. Being a smaller guys (5’8’’ 155lbs) it’s really bulky around the shoulders. I don’t want to give up protection. Which is the best pro CP that would fit me better around the shoulders? The All-Star looks like it might, but it’s tough to tell from the pictures.

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In my experience (in order of descending bulkiness) WV Gold, WV Platinum, All-Star System 7 and Douglas. I have the original padding. With the All Star and Douglas I can get by with the same shirt I wear on the bases. When I wear the WV I go up a size.

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Fellas, 

 

I figured I'd update considering many of you took the time to give your suggestions.  I ended up going the Douglas route.  After looking at all the features, I just felt Douglas offered my chest the most protection with no real gaps in that area and without being overly bulky. 

 

Over all I love the CP, I just wish I would have ordered a longer one if I had it to do over again.  I actually took a straight shot to the chest the 1st weekend I wore it, and felt no pain.  HUGE relief! 

 

I've honestly never worn a Wilson or really any other brands, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I'm over all pleased with the Douglas. 

 

Thanks again for taking the time out of your days to help a newbie out!  

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Fellas, 

 

I figured I'd update considering many of you took the time to give your suggestions.  I ended up going the Douglas route.  After looking at all the features, I just felt Douglas offered my chest the most protection with no real gaps in that area and without being overly bulky. 

 

Over all I love the CP, I just wish I would have ordered a longer one if I had it to do over again.  I actually took a straight shot to the chest the 1st weekend I wore it, and felt no pain.  HUGE relief! 

 

I've honestly never worn a Wilson or really any other brands, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I'm over all pleased with the Douglas. 

 

Thanks again for taking the time out of your days to help a newbie out!  

 

 

Good choice

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