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Wrap around mask pads


EAA_umpire_Sam

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As a design feature? Not really.

Among leather-encased pads, though, they typically have the best feel vs. protection. Wilson uses full-grain leather where there is face contact, and when new (or dried out), they are a manageable weight. I'd place them in the middle of their contemporaries in terms of weight. At one extreme are the All-Star LMX pads, but they use a very thin grade of leather that doesn't have the longest of durability. To their credit, All-Star LMX pads are very reasonably priced, and catchers are encouraged to change pads frequently (if even for color changes). Conversely, the Wilson Wrap-arounds are intended solely for Umpire masks... which are never supposed to hit the ground or be ground into the dirt and mud.

At the other end of the weight range, leather pads from Rawlings and MacGregor are heavy. They're very simply constructed, amounting to sausage casings with foam, wool, and plastic stuffed inside.

Unlike Team Wendy and All-Star, Wilson just doesn't have access to use, nor does it have that innovator's spirit to develop, their own varieties of advanced, closed cell memory foams that would dramatically improve their mask pads (and their CP's... and their shinguards... and their helmets... and their... ). So, those Wrap-Arounds may be top-grain leather, but their protection value comes at the price of being unnecessarily dense.

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