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Are the New Smitty Performance Polyspandex the Next New Umpire Pant?

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I'm going to throw a kink into this thread...

While browsing through the nearby Nike Factory Store last week, I happened across Dri-Fit Golf Pants (slacks, more like)... in charcoal grey. So, I tried them on, and they fit and looked terrific. I waited a week to see if they went on sale, and they did, so now I'm the enthused owner of Nike Golf Pants for use as Base Pants. They will never be plate pants – I'm not expecting them to be – but in terms of base pants, if you have the physique for it, they not only look extremely flattering, but they weigh nothing, breathe beautifully, and move effortlessly.

I only noticed two minor (petty, actually) issues, and both are due to them as Golf pants:

  1. they will not accept a belt broader than 1.5", and don't do well with a thick, heavy belt at that, so all you guys fond of wearing 1.75" patent leather belts... can't
  2. they are cut in such a way to cleanly accept one rather thin golf shirt to be tucked in. When one has to tuck in an undershirt and an umpire shirt, even using the ultra-thin Majestic and TheOfficialsChoice material, it gets a little... frumpy around the waist and seat.

Major pluses though? Love this:

  • Ethereal weight. They feel exceptionally light.
  • Dry within minutes, if not seconds.
  • Flat front. No stupid pleating.
  • Already sold to-length, and length is dead-right-on.
  • "Nike" = Victory, Excellence, etc.; "Smitty" = Problematic, Slipshod, OOO, etc.

 

Granted, that last thing is extremely petty. But really, the leadership of Smitty should consider changing the brand name and identity, and bring the company out of the dark ages, and the chuckle-behind-one's-back.

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52 minutes ago, MadMax said:

I'm going to throw a kink into this thread...

While browsing through the nearby Nike Factory Store last week, I happened across Dri-Fit Golf Pants (slacks, more like)... in charcoal grey. So, I tried them on, and they fit and looked terrific. I waited a week to see if they went on sale, and they did, so now I'm the enthused owner of Nike Golf Pants for use as Base Pants. They will never be plate pants – I'm not expecting them to be – but in terms of base pants, if you have the physique for it, they not only look extremely flattering, but they weigh nothing, breathe beautifully, and move effortlessly.

I only noticed two minor (petty, actually) issues, and both are due to them as Golf pants:

  1. they will not accept a belt broader than 1.5", and don't do well with a thick, heavy belt at that, so all you guys fond of wearing 1.75" patent leather belts... can't
  2. they are cut in such a way to cleanly accept one rather thin golf shirt to be tucked in. When one has to tuck in an undershirt and an umpire shirt, even using the ultra-thin Majestic and TheOfficialsChoice material, it gets a little... frumpy around the waist and seat.

Major pluses though? Love this:

  • Ethereal weight. They feel exceptionally light.
  • Dry within minutes, if not seconds.
  • Flat front. No stupid pleating.
  • Already sold to-length, and length is dead-right-on.
  • "Nike" = Victory, Excellence, etc.; "Smitty" = Problematic, Slipshod, OOO, etc.

 

Granted, that last thing is extremely petty. But really, the leadership of Smitty should consider changing the brand name and identity, and bring the company out of the dark ages, and the chuckle-behind-one's-back.

What are you talking about?  Especially the behind the back comment?

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Stu,

I don't pretend to speak for Max but if you remember Carl Childress, he wrote extensively about umpiring in books and on Officiating.com. He often used the term Smitty as a way of describing   an untrained or sloppy umpire. Jim Evans referred to them as Charley's or local Charley's I believe. I admit I've had trouble buying Smitty brand products. I got their tights years back and they were junk. Did not last a season. Their first attempt at pants looked like something civil war confederate soldiers wore. Roughest wool you've ever seen since the 1860's.  I admit they have upped their game considerably in the past couple of years. I own the all black half or quarter zip with zip off sleeves jacket filling the void that Majestic left and these pants that are the subject of this thread.  I like them both very much.

Those of us that remember Carl's term for the goofballs that umpire (some of us-me included, may have been one) as Smitty's and used that term to refer to these guys have some issues with the company using that name when it refers to such an umpire that is a joke.  (Did I get it right Max?)

 

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7 hours ago, Majordave said:

Stu,

I don't pretend to speak for Max but if you remember Carl Childress, he wrote extensively about umpiring in books and on Officiating.com. He often used the term Smitty as a way of describing   an untrained or sloppy umpire. Jim Evans referred to them as Charley's or local Charley's I believe. I admit I've had trouble buying Smitty brand products. I got their tights years back and they were junk. Did not last a season. Their first attempt at pants looked like something civil war confederate soldiers wore. Roughest wool you've ever seen since the 1860's.  I admit they have upped their game considerably in the past couple of years. I own the all black half or quarter zip with zip off sleeves jacket filling the void that Majestic left and these pants that are the subject of this thread.  I like them both very much.

Those of us that remember Carl's term for the goofballs that umpire (some of us-me included, may have been one) as Smitty's and used that term to refer to these guys have some issues with the company using that name when it refers to such an umpire that is a joke.  (Did I get it right Max?)

 

"You know ol' Charlie, right?   Ol' Charlie's the guy that would brag that he had 20 years of experience as an umpire.   Or was it ONE year experience 20 times?"

- Jim Evans

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@Majordave has it explained very well, @umpstu. I meant, would you trust or be at ease with a construction company called "Shoddy Construction" or "Slapdash Building"? 

Then, as far as bringing officiating attire out of the dark ages, specifically as it relates to bat sports, the style and quality of umpire apparel won't truly change until companies such as Smitty, Cliff Keen, and Dalco cease making the "traditional", archaic stuff!

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"You know ol' Charlie, right?   Ol' Charlie's the guy that would brag that he had 20 years of experience as an umpire.   Or was it ONE year experience 20 times?"
- Jim Evans


And to some minor league umpires taught by Evans, all amateur umpires who never attended school were Charlies. Never cared for the attitude or the term.
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3 hours ago, RichMSN said:

 


And to some minor league umpires taught by Evans, all amateur umpires who never attended school were Charlies. Never cared for the attitude or the term.

 

Never saw that as an attitude from Jimmy.  He used it as necessary when he was instructing my high school group (which as I understand it, he did for free).   The affectation as used by Jimmy came across to me as more of an admonition about staying razor sharp on all aspects of working games.

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Never saw that as an attitude from Jimmy.  He used it as necessary when he was instructing my high school group (which as I understand it, he did for free).   The affectation as used by Jimmy came across to me as more of an admonition about staying razor sharp on all aspects of working games.


Never Jimmy. Jimmy was always classy, although back in the day he used the phrase "Internet umpires" with a bit of disdain. I took that with a grain of salt, but also knew what he meant.

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On 4/30/2017 at 2:14 PM, Majordave said:

Stu,

I don't pretend to speak for Max but if you remember Carl Childress, he wrote extensively about umpiring in books and on Officiating.com. He often used the term Smitty as a way of describing   an untrained or sloppy umpire. Jim Evans referred to them as Charley's or local Charley's I believe. I admit I've had trouble buying Smitty brand products. I got their tights years back and they were junk. Did not last a season. Their first attempt at pants looked like something civil war confederate soldiers wore. Roughest wool you've ever seen since the 1860's.  I admit they have upped their game considerably in the past couple of years. I own the all black half or quarter zip with zip off sleeves jacket filling the void that Majestic left and these pants that are the subject of this thread.  I like them both very much.

Those of us that remember Carl's term for the goofballs that umpire (some of us-me included, may have been one) as Smitty's and used that term to refer to these guys have some issues with the company using that name when it refers to such an umpire that is a joke.  (Did I get it right Max?)

 

First off, I want everybody to know it was a sincere question. I had never heard anything bad said about Smitty.  Thanks for clearing that up.

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Let me steer this out of the ditch, and back on the road. .....

After a few weeks with my new pants, and having a traveler's crease put in them, I have noticed one thing. If you don't take them right out of the dryer, they're very wrinkled. Now, I iron them no matter what, but sometimes other pants came out at 80-90%. Not these.

But after a few weekends of +80 degree games, I can't even imagine wearing wool again. Now it just seems stupid that we ever did.

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@kylejt

kyle,

please tell us (me, it's really all about me) how you iron them. Temp of iron, brand of iron, technique, etc. I am afraid to iron them. 

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1 hour ago, Majordave said:

@kylejt

kyle,

please tell us (me, it's really all about me) how you iron them. Temp of iron, brand of iron, technique, etc. I am afraid to iron them. 

I use a Rowenta for all of my ironing and I set it on high.  The wrinkles come out quickly with a good iron.  Rowenta's rock.

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On 4/28/2017 at 1:01 PM, MadMax said:

I'm going to throw a kink into this thread...

While browsing through the nearby Nike Factory Store last week, I happened across Dri-Fit Golf Pants (slacks, more like)... in charcoal grey. So, I tried them on, and they fit and looked terrific. I waited a week to see if they went on sale, and they did, so now I'm the enthused owner of Nike Golf Pants for use as Base Pants. They will never be plate pants – I'm not expecting them to be – but in terms of base pants, if you have the physique for it, they not only look extremely flattering, but they weigh nothing, breathe beautifully, and move effortlessly.

I only noticed two minor (petty, actually) issues, and both are due to them as Golf pants:

  1. they will not accept a belt broader than 1.5", and don't do well with a thick, heavy belt at that, so all you guys fond of wearing 1.75" patent leather belts... can't
  2. they are cut in such a way to cleanly accept one rather thin golf shirt to be tucked in. When one has to tuck in an undershirt and an umpire shirt, even using the ultra-thin Majestic and TheOfficialsChoice material, it gets a little... frumpy around the waist and seat.

Major pluses though? Love this:

  • Ethereal weight. They feel exceptionally light.
  • Dry within minutes, if not seconds.
  • Flat front. No stupid pleating.
  • Already sold to-length, and length is dead-right-on.
  • "Nike" = Victory, Excellence, etc.; "Smitty" = Problematic, Slipshod, OOO, etc.

 

Granted, that last thing is extremely petty. But really, the leadership of Smitty should consider changing the brand name and identity, and bring the company out of the dark ages, and the chuckle-behind-one's-back.

Max,

While I love your stuff and your insight on this forum, ....your take on a companies potential "shoddy-ness" because of their name is quite ridiculous actually.   It's like saying Ford Motor Company is terrible because of the issues they had with the Pinto.  Come on ....  it's silly.... :rolleyes: 

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19 hours ago, kylejt said:

Let me steer this out of the ditch, and back on the road. .....

After a few weeks with my new pants, and having a traveler's crease put in them, I have noticed one thing. If you don't take them right out of the dryer, they're very wrinkled. Now, I iron them no matter what, but sometimes other pants came out at 80-90%. Not these.

But after a few weekends of +80 degree games, I can't even imagine wearing wool again. Now it just seems stupid that we ever did.

What is a "traveler's crease", and how is it put in?

As information, I've had the same wrinkling issues with the original Honig's poly-wool trousers.   If I don't get them out maybe 5 minutes before the end of the dry cycle, they will be wrinkled.  Just yesterday, I took out them out maybe 10 minutes early, they almost felt damp, but were perfect - not a wrinkle.

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59 minutes ago, Chris Hickman said:

Major Dave, add this to your iron and you will NEVER burn your pants.....

 

http://www.wawak.com/Iron-Shoe-Universal-Fit-Home

Oh man... I can remember that my Mom had something like this that she used when ironing Dad's cotton dress shirts.  It prevented scorching.   When I was assigned to the honor guard detail at my first Navy duty station, we used at item similar to this as well.  

But these days, with so much synthetic material, the real secret to error-free ironing is to use an iron which is set at the proper temperature (obvious, yes?) AND using the steam function often, and don't press the steam button with the iron touching the fabric... lift the iron off the fabric maybe an inch or two, steam the area (move the iron around a bit) and then quickly press the iron onto the fabric and move it around the steamed area, 3 to 5 seconds, tops.   Works wonders on polyester fabric.   

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14 minutes ago, BrianC14 said:

Oh man... I can remember that my Mom had something like this that she used when ironing Dad's cotton dress shirts.  It prevented scorching.   When I was assigned to the honor guard detail at my first Navy duty station, we used at item similar to this as well.  

But these days, with so much synthetic material, the real secret to error-free ironing is to use an iron which is set at the proper temperature (obvious, yes?) AND using the steam function often, and don't press the steam button with the iron touching the fabric... lift the iron off the fabric maybe an inch or two, steam the area (move the iron around a bit) and then quickly press the iron onto the fabric and move it around the steamed area, 3 to 5 seconds, tops.   Works wonders on polyester fabric.   

I use the steam button all of the time when I iron and always on the fabric.  Never had an issue.  And since 1977 when I first enlisted in the Navy I have ironed my own clothes. Don't trust people to not add an extra 3 or 4 creases to my slacks because they don't have the same attention to detail when ironing.  I'd much rather do it myself.

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8 minutes ago, umpstu said:

I use the steam button all of the time when I iron and always on the fabric.  Never had an issue.  And since 1977 when I first enlisted in the Navy I have ironed my own clothes. Don't trust people to not add an extra 3 or 4 creases to my slacks because they don't have the same attention to detail when ironing.  I'd much rather do it myself.

Navy trained, brother.  I enlisted in '76, so we are both well acquainted with the wonders of gabardine.   :)   It might be the type of iron, but there have been times where living in an area with 'hard water' that the steam vents would get clogged up with mineral deposits which end up steamed right into the fabric.   I found that lifting it off that the little mineral pieces were easy to brush away.   SWMBO has a really nice iron ($$$) that I've been granted permission to use, and it doesn't give me that mineral deposit problem.

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On 4/28/2017 at 1:01 PM, MadMax said:

I'm going to throw a kink into this thread...

While browsing through the nearby Nike Factory Store last week, I happened across Dri-Fit Golf Pants (slacks, more like)... in charcoal grey. So, I tried them on, and they fit and looked terrific. I waited a week to see if they went on sale, and they did, so now I'm the enthused owner of Nike Golf Pants for use as Base Pants. They will never be plate pants – I'm not expecting them to be – but in terms of base pants, if you have the physique for it, they not only look extremely flattering, but they weigh nothing, breathe beautifully, and move effortlessly.

I only noticed two minor (petty, actually) issues, and both are due to them as Golf pants:

  1. they will not accept a belt broader than 1.5", and don't do well with a thick, heavy belt at that, so all you guys fond of wearing 1.75" patent leather belts... can't
  2. they are cut in such a way to cleanly accept one rather thin golf shirt to be tucked in. When one has to tuck in an undershirt and an umpire shirt, even using the ultra-thin Majestic and TheOfficialsChoice material, it gets a little... frumpy around the waist and seat.

Major pluses though? Love this:

  • Ethereal weight. They feel exceptionally light.
  • Dry within minutes, if not seconds.
  • Flat front. No stupid pleating.
  • Already sold to-length, and length is dead-right-on.
  • "Nike" = Victory, Excellence, etc.; "Smitty" = Problematic, Slipshod, OOO, etc.

 

Granted, that last thing is extremely petty. But really, the leadership of Smitty should consider changing the brand name and identity, and bring the company out of the dark ages, and the chuckle-behind-one's-back.

Max,
With all due respect, Smitty is not changing their name. I've said it before. The name Smitty came from an actual person's nickname that started the company. His last name was Smith. Who else knows a guy named Smith they nicknamed Smitty? I do. He's a friend in high school who's now a doctor.

I will add that Smitty has worked very hard to improve the quality of products since their inception about 9 years ago or so. Everyone knows that. Is everything perfect? Of course not. If you look at our website reviews, there are many products with many great reviews and several with some not-so-good. Each year, the positives go up and negatives go down (the new poly spandex and poly wool pants are evidence of better products in the marketplace as well as their commitment to it). The ideal brand name? Probably not.

Smitty has also added many products compared to their competitors in the market. For us, I count we have 164 total Smitty products. I know how much work and investment that amounts to. Besides, they have nearly 20 hard-working staff in Canton, Ohio. Plus they are owned by a retired NBA basketball official. I estimate we, alone, have over 50,000 customers who wear and/or use Smitty products.

I know you mean well. Feel free to suggest actual golf pants for use on the bases if that helps anyone, but I think your comments are off-base and not a reflection of the overwhelming majority of umpires out there.

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I have now worn both pants in D1 conference games.. and 1 weekend was a big one.. a lots of guys are wearing them..

 

the thing that people have a hard time with it the COLOR.. were so used to wearing Honigs Poly wool that anything else doesn't look right. it was a hot weekend and the pants feel great..

 

I worn the big patent leather belt on the plate and had no problems getting them through the belt loops. 

The pants are so good I could buy another set and might this summer. if we can wear them in D1 conference weekends, you can wear them as well.

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Isn't Smitty a brand/division/affiliate of Adams?

Maybe it's just something that we umpires notice, but the negative connotation of the name "Smitty" kind of makes me grimace too. And the Ford analogy actually isn't too far off the mark! Back when Ford was marketing the Probe model, they intended to market the car to female buyers. Sales weren't taking off with women like they had anticipated. Further marketing research found that the name "Probe" did not test well with female buyers!

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1 hour ago, BretMan said:

Isn't Smitty a brand/division/affiliate of Adams?

Maybe it's just something that we umpires notice, but the negative connotation of the name "Smitty" kind of makes me grimace too. And the Ford analogy actually isn't too far off the mark! Back when Ford was marketing the Probe model, they intended to market the car to female buyers. Sales weren't taking off with women like they had anticipated. Further marketing research found that the name "Probe" did not test well with female buyers!

Female chief designer on that project too! (Ford Probe)

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11 hours ago, Haid D' Salaami said:

I have now worn both pants in D1 conference games.. and 1 weekend was a big one.. a lots of guys are wearing them..

 

the thing that people have a hard time with it the COLOR.. were so used to wearing Honigs Poly wool that anything else doesn't look right. it was a hot weekend and the pants feel great..

 

I worn the big patent leather belt on the plate and had no problems getting them through the belt loops. 

The pants are so good I could buy another set and might this summer. if we can wear them in D1 conference weekends, you can wear them as well.

I'm one of those "lots of guys" wearing them. I love them.

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Isn't Smitty a brand/division/affiliate of Adams?
Maybe it's just something that we umpires notice, but the negative connotation of the name "Smitty" kind of makes me grimace too. And the Ford analogy actually isn't too far off the mark! Back when Ford was marketing the Probe model, they intended to market the car to female buyers. Sales weren't taking off with women like they had anticipated. Further marketing research found that the name "Probe" did not test well with female buyers!


The negative connotation with Smitty should have died right along with Childress.

Just saying.

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