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A key gear discovery… My hat’s off to Kyle!


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Yes... all the time! Regular season, you take what they give you. The regular season is actually a come-down from the rest of the year.   I get to assign for a half dozen high schools for their off-

Thank you, Chief! Happy New Year! (Can you tell that jumping back up here was one of my resolutions?)   We should talk. There's some compelling stuff to discuss.   ... Continued thanks for having

They already have those ....  called K-Cup's .....oops, wait ....

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I am truly in love with these Finn Shins (I can't even type it with a straight face). I'm the house umpire at a few high schools in the off-season. Unlike the college games, we do the HS games one-man. I sometimes have a partner that I'm trying out for my ever-expanding roster, but not last night. I had two premier high school teams in a good battle with lots of trailing catchers and runners pushing the envelope and... Man, I was running faster than ever! It was my first game with this much running since I started using these babies, and they really do make a difference in my mobility and endurance. Amazing. They're less than half the weight of regular shins.

 

The best part: After watching me knock out this game, the opposing coach pulled me aside at the car and took my card and asked me if I could also assign his games. So these shins have already paid for themselves.

KFinn:  Have you EVER umpired just a plain old 2 team, high school game?!?! :D LOL

 

 

Yes... all the time! Regular season, you take what they give you. The regular season is actually a come-down from the rest of the year.

 

I get to assign for a half dozen high schools for their off-season games and tournaments. Five of them are premier programs, and three of them have the three best ballparks in the region. They all load up their off-season schedules with opponents that are also premier teams, like last night's opponent (Giancarlo Stanton's old school), which looks like it's going to be my seventh. And they're using some of that $tanton funding to rebuild their own ballpark. So it's going to be yet another sweet ballpark. 

 

So, when I assign these games, I spread them out fairly evenly, but no matter where I put myself in the summer, fall and winter, it's a premier program. And I fit them around all the fall and winter UCLA Bruins' intrasquad games, which I've assigned since 2009. What I mean to say is The National Champion UCLA Bruins.  :D

 

I scored these gigs by knowing some of the coaches from before I even became an umpire. Three of them coached my son at one time or another. Last night's home coach: I gave him his first job in 1986 when he was a 14-year-old second baseman at that very school. Last night's visiting coach: He coached against my son, when he played in the same HS league against Giancarlo.

 

If you're a good baseball man, and you you love the game at a sick level, other good baseball men can see it. And they reward it. All of the relationships that I built as a baseball man have helped me enjoy umpiring to a drastically higher degree. I deplore all of the umpire association politics, and with all of this summer fall and winter ball, I get to have my own association, and I get to avoid all of the politics.

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It's going according to plan. I should be able to try them tomorrow. I really hope I get drilled in the ankle.

I'll be more than happy to throw baseballs at you. One of them is likely to hot your ankle.

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I got the Kevlar pads...
 
photo13_zpse620c499.jpg
 
 
And rather than have them sewn on, I was going to temporarily attach them in a couple of possible spots until I can have them permanently attached where they need t be. As I was toying with ways to attach them, including simply using the Velcro to attach them inside the pad, outside the pad, vertically, horizontally... I simply Velcroed them to my socks, tucked them into my shoes and voila! The shin guard tucks in behind the tongue of the shoe, and the ankle protector would be attached this way:
 
photo14_zps6d34da13.jpg
 
I'll probably attach it anyway, but for now, I'm doing it inside the shoe.
 
Performance of the pad: I actually needed it twice: Once on a wild pitch glancer that may have hurt slightly without the protection, and once when a catcher shot his foot out to slide over and block a pitch. His cleats caught part shoe, part shin guard, part Kevlar pad.
 
I won't sign off 100 percent on this shin guard and ankle pad system at pitching speeds of 95 m.p.h. I'm still going to wear them anywhere, including with the Kevlar pads, but there's a bit of a trade-off.
 
But the risk/reward is way in favor of the reward side. Good grief, they're so light and comfortable.
I just did 18 innings in these things, and I can say that they make a difference in my endurance. They really do. A lot of this is about comfort. I'm always trying to find the most comfortable shoes. But I never really gave much thought to sleeker, lighter, more comfortable shin guards.
 
I'm happy I finally did.    
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Contemplating taking an older pair of Wilson Pro shin guards apart. Taking the ankle plate and padding into my tailor to see if they can reduce the thickness of the padding and sew it on to the Bauers.

Could be an interesting solution and I already have a pair that I no longer use.

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That's a great idea, if it's loose enough to flop out on the outside of the shoe. I tuck the Bauer into the top of my shoe, therefore the thin, relatively soft Kevlar pad tucks into my shoe pretty comfortably.

 

This a fascinating subject. You have turned this into a lot of fun for both of us.

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That's a great idea, if it's loose enough to flop out on the outside of the shoe. I tuck the Bauer into the top of my shoe, therefore the thin, relatively soft Kevlar pad tucks into my shoe pretty comfortably.

 

This a fascinating subject. You have turned this into a lot of fun for both of us.

I have the Zig lows so the shins dont tuck into the shoe. Any ankle protection would most likely have to go on the outside.

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Got mine Thursday. HS game last night, they are super light (zero leg or back fatigue) and I felt super mobile. My only beef is the left one twisted slightly on my leg every couple of innings. No big deal, just had to be aware. I think I can fix it if I could tighten them down more.

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@gaulden21 I really like the Bauers. Super light and look awesome.

@KevinFinnerty and @alex7, I attended the local weekend clinic PBUA (for Kevin that is the Portland HS unit) and got a slew of compliments on the FinnShins (minus the ankle protection which I still have not figured out). Also @Thunderhead, got quite a few compliments on the new FM25 rig. Especially the idea of the visor seemed pretty warmly recieved.

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The Bauers are sweet.  Ridiculously light.  I bought some extra pairs for guys in my association, and still have one 15" set left over if anyone's interested.  New, $55 shipped if any of you want the last pair.

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I have the CCM shins, I like them but, they are warm and a touch wide, wearing the newer version of the davis shins now, have both versions, thinking about the reeboks. when i purchased the davis shins, both versions came with removable ankle protection, I may try to incorporate them into the reeboks, I wear NB 460's and worry about that dreaded "flair" around the ankles.

 

kfinn, would love too hear what you think about this. 

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