Jump to content
AL-Ump

Thoughts on Uncap vs Skull Cap

Recommended Posts

41 minutes ago, aaluck said:

  I BELIEVE that my HS association would be fine with me using this instead of "their" hat.  But I could be wrong.  On the same note I wonder if softball guys would get much resistance on the difference between navy/black--again arguing safety and lack of navy.

In OH, I'm sure nothing would be said as we are allowed to wear HSM's (black) instead of a navy hat if we choose.   Now, I've seen maybe 1 HSM in all of my time, but we are allowed.  I just don't want to wear black with navy, but I know it's being nit-picky too because I have on black shoes, black belt, black sunglasses, etc.  

What would be best for all involved is if NFHS got rid of the navy shirt requirement from the rule book so we can wear black or something that would match black instead.

NFHS Rule:

"10-1-9   Umpires shall wear gray slacks, and navy pullover shirt or state association-adopted shirt."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

What would be best for all involved is if NFHS got rid of the navy shirt requirement from the rule book so we can wear black or something that would match black instead.

In Alabama we can wear black, cream or navy, our local association requires all to have black.  ALL hats are black now for us. This is for baseball, no idea about softball.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, AL-Ump said:

For what it's worth, I got an UnCap this week (thanks @Rock Bottom).  I like it, but I also had to go up on size on the plate hat - same as @Mr Ump.  I was between a 7 1/2 and 7 5/8 so I always went down to the smaller size and it was tight.  Now it's too tight.

Might check out the skull caps too once you get yours @wolfe_man.  Please let us know how they work out!

Sorry to hear your current hat didn't fit. I just pulled in mine for a few minutes and it was a perfect fit. It also stretched a little after a few games I think. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

Well, my two will be here on Friday.  I'll let you know. :fuel:

If so, it was under $24 shipped for both.  I got a black and a navy for HS.

Ok ..... they're calling this an SB500 ....  I've inquired w/ Brad what that is (if anything)....   Let us know when they come in Wolfy! :nod: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

Ok ..... they're calling this an SB500 ....  I've inquired w/ Brad what that is (if anything)....   Let us know when they come in Wolfy! :nod: 

Supposed to be here tomorrow, but it's in Newark now so might come today. Will do.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, so they got here today.  Here are a few pics below.  I can fit my Adidas mask on it with plenty of room to spare between the bill of the skull cap and the rear of the top eye bar.  This would be safe to wear with most traditional masks in my opinion, especially after reading that other link above seeing so many MLB catchers wearing them bill-forward also.

The skull cap is comfy to wear.  It fits heads from 6 7/8 - 7 7/8. 

It is an All Star BC500 model.

I would probably recommend a neoprene harness as the existing Adidas harness is almost fully expanded to fit around it all and with the smooth surface it may move.

AS BC500 2.jpg

AS BC500 1.jpg

AS BC500 3.jpg

AS BC500 4.jpg

AS BC500 5.jpg

AS BC500 6.jpg

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, wolfe_man said:

Okay, so they got here today.  Here are a few pics below.  I can fit my Adidas mask on it with plenty of room to spare between the bill of the skull cap and the rear of the top eye bar.  This would be safe to wear with most traditional masks in my opinion, especially after reading that other link above seeing so many MLB catchers wearing them bill-forward also.

The skull cap is comfy to wear.  It fits heads from 6 7/8 - 7 7/8. 

It is an All Star BC500 model.

I would probably recommend a neoprene harness as the existing Adidas harness is almost fully expanded to fit around it all and with the smooth surface it may move.

AS BC500 2.jpg

AS BC500 1.jpg

AS BC500 3.jpg

AS BC500 4.jpg

AS BC500 5.jpg

AS BC500 6.jpg

Did you get other colors?   The BC500 is shown on the All-Star site as a matte-black (only color) Base Coach skull cap ....where as the colors are listed as the SC500.  That said, there's a matte black SC500 skully also which appears to be identical to the BC500.  :HS 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

Did you get other colors?   The BC500 is shown on the All-Star site as a matte-black (only color) Base Coach skull cap ....where as the colors are listed as the SC500.  That said, there's a matte black SC500 skully also which appears to be identical to the BC500.  :HS 

I received navy and black, neither are matte.  They aren't super shiny, but at this price I have thought about scuffing them up and using some matte paint on them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/17/2020 at 11:50 AM, wolfe_man said:

They aren't super shiny, but at this price I have thought about scuffing them up and using some matte paint on them.

Before you scuff 'em up and repaint them, try this... 
724504013112-600x600.jpg

It's clear, and will "dull" the finish on the helmet without altering the paint color.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/16/2020 at 7:32 AM, wolfe_man said:

If you want a regular All Star base coach skull cap... Epic has them for $5.99 in all colors right now.  It's a cheap way to test it out.  Some masks fit these full-size skull caps just fine.  I've tried them under a F3 V2 with no problems. The main thing is just ensure you have room for the pads to compress & expand at impact (so leave an inch between the front of your bill and the rear of the mask bars on your forehead).

https://baseball.epicsports.com/prod/144095/base-coach-abs-hard-shell-cap-closeout.html

image.png.188101134f9a1e3f81b6b0a8426af82e.png

Couldn't pass this up. With or without games this year!

Quick question for the room... is it bad to order this with the full intention of ordering the Cobalt next spring? Lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/17/2020 at 11:26 AM, wolfe_man said:

I can fit my Adidas mask on it with plenty of room to spare between the bill of the skull cap and the rear of the top eye bar.

[bunch of photos of Wolfe modeling his mask while wearing camo]

[camo?]

 

Grrrrrr... see, the Icon looks even better in black! If only some company would bring back the Icon planform in aluminum, the world would be right again! Titanium isn’t dangerous; it’s just hella-expensive!

I’ve been told by an authoritative, reliable source that there was a time in umpire circles that all silver masks were regarded or perceived to be Titanium. We’re not talking 1970s, we’re talking Jorge Posada gets his Nike Icon, so late 90s and into 2000s. What drove this misperception? Well, the Nike Icon is Titanium. Titanium is naturally silver, and doesn’t corrode (ie. rust). Conversely, steel masks corrode, and would have to be painted (paint technology was either limited or extraordinarily expensive, and powder coating was reserved for big-buck heavy industry and vehicles) or... dipped in vinyl. Wilson only produced their Dynalites in vinyl-dipped steel. The first rendition of Wilson’s titanium, executed in a “full version” and a near-flat “low profile” version, both with the “Billy Goat” chin guard, was translated into steel, but it too was vinyl dipped (Dan Bellino wears one). It wasn’t until All-Star and Easton led the way in painting their hollow steel masks that we saw silver hollow steel, bereft of vinyl dip.

So when you’re a stool pigeon for Wilson, and all you’ve seen is black vinyl dip because the company you love is too miserly and stubborn to innovate and take risks, and is getting swamped with replacement requests on titanium masks that were so shallow that your nose nearly stuck out the eye slot and would begin to cave in under a tremendous impact, and the pads sucked... yeah, you could one day believe and espouse that “titanium is dangerous”...

... and what ya need is a Hockey Style mask.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How well does that hat-helmet stay on when pulling off your mask, and busting down to third? That would be my chief concern. I just saw some recent "film" of the whole contraption coming off of an MLB umpire, as he was making a call at home. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, kylejt said:

How well does that hat-helmet stay on when pulling off your mask, and busting down to third? That would be my chief concern. I just saw some recent "film" of the whole contraption coming off of an MLB umpire, as he was making a call at home. 

Are you inquiring of the UnCap-within-ballcap, or of a helmet (what I call a “hard hat”, or a skullcap)?

If UnCap, with it occupying a space within a standard ballcap, then one has to be sure they are using a properly-sized ballcap. It’s been reported that for some tight ball caps, installing the UnCap makes it too tight and unwearable, while other ball caps stretch or the resulting fit is improved.

If hard hat / helmet / skullcap, a significant part of this experience is determined by the fit. You’re (rightly so) always preaching about fit. If I use one of the lower-end basic skullcaps, one-size-fits-all/most (such as from, say, Wilson), then the fit is going to be rather suspect. It’s often solely dependent on the lone ring of basic foam around the edge of the helmet shell (or in Wilson, leather wrapped :rolleyes: ). The Rawlings CoolFlo and the All-Star BC500(?) are not only sized incrementally, but also have much better internal foam, with much more attuned sizing as a result. The only hitch to quick mask-removal, then, is the brim.

Which is addressed with the Cobalt Skuly. The Skuly not only has 4 incremental sizes and the much better sizing foam inside, but the shortened brim clears a mask’s removal much easier.

If you’re seeing this in MLB, we cannot fault the helmet. The MLB guys wear their mask harnesses (way, far) too tight, such that it’s probably easier / faster / smoother just to take both off in one go.

Edit (after watching your attached clip): Yup. Ramon de Jesus. He, like the rest of the Skuly and skullcap wearers in MLB, are wearing their mask harnesses waaaaaaay too tight. Overtight. They’re finding it easier to take both off in one go, especially considering they have to leave the face / breath / anti-COVID-panic mask in place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/19/2020 at 7:01 AM, MadMax said:

I’ve been told by an authoritative, reliable source that there was a time in umpire circles that all silver masks were regarded or perceived to be Titanium. We’re not talking 1970s, we’re talking Jorge Posada gets his Nike Icon, so late 90s and into 2000s. What drove this misperception? Well, the Nike Icon is Titanium.

To your point here. I remember getting asked almost on a weekly basis if my (then) silver Diamond Aluminum was titanium. It probably didn't help that I had traded those junky Diamond black pads in for the two-tone Wilson wrap around pads that came with the original Wilson Titanium. So it had that Titanium look with the silver and the two-tone Wilson Ti pads.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/16/2020 at 2:21 PM, wolfe_man said:

For those wondering if you can wear it under a traditional mask bill-forward... see this link for proof.

https://www.whatproswear.com/baseball/news/catchers-corner-why-do-some-pros-wear-their-skull-caps-forward/

A sneak preview below, Jose Lobaton of the TB Rays wearing the AS skull cap bill-forward with an AS FM25Ti.

image.png.19d391c4aeab7c66390f00f519a7b4e5.png

Guys, just because you can fit a cap under a umpire mask, doesn’t mean you should wear it under a mask.

This pic, look closely, the end of the bill...it is too close to the frame. You have to consider the compressing that occurs with a shot.

Wrote an article on this (that was a copy of a post I shared here...which makes it true ;-)

https://www.ump-attire.com/Umpire-Articles/Jim-Goes-Parental-with-Umpire-Cap-Bill-Length-Warning-on-Umpire-Empire-Post

A coach’s skull cap is not meant for umpires. That’s why All-Star designed an umpire skull cap (to be short enough...roughly a 3-stitch to accommodate all masks, especially the more angled Mag frames)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having said all that, I am encouraged to see that there is a topic discussing supplemental head protection.

If you can make a coach’s cap work on YOUR mask, go for it. Just know that just because one person can make it work on say their brand/style specific mask/pads doesn’t mean that another can make it work on their brand/specific mask/pads.

CHECK! DOUBLE-CHECK!

I did an interactive talk at the Mid American Clinic where campers brought their caps and masks. Now we are talking traditional caps, but nearly 30% of them had concerns with their combination mask and bill.

TAKEAWAY: Umpire mask shapes have changed. Don’t assume which cap-stitch worked for you (hard shell or traditional cap) before will work for you now.

Again, love seeing the reception for hard shells. Huge! Keep it going.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, JimKirk said:

A coach’s skull cap is not meant for umpires. That’s why All-Star designed an umpire skull cap (to be short enough...roughly a 3-stitch to accommodate all masks, especially the more angled Mag frames)

How big of a gap do we need to leave between the eye bar of the mask and the front of the bill?  Do pads compress an inch or two?  If you went to the link I provided, there are multiple MLB catchers doing it this way with different masks (many wearing the Nike).  I have used the coach's cap before under my Adidas and other masks with no problem. 

I've read your article before and agree with it, but for one point.  Catchers have worn skull caps for a long time before umpires or even coaches started thinking about it.  Some even wore them bill forward with no problems.   With today's flatter profile masks, you should make sure you have enough room for your pads to compress, but a coach's cap will work under many masks safely.   You do not have to spend the $60 to buy an All Star product as the only fix. We umpires have been wearing gear designed for catchers primarily for a long time.  Only late in the game have companies (F3, All Star) started caring what we umpires need or want, but it is better late than never and we truly appreciate every effort being made on our behalf now.

Sorry about my rant, I saw you have already responded below saying it might work.  I take safety seriously, especially when talking about my head (eyes, ears, brain).  I would never put myself, or another umpire, into a product that I did not believe would work safely for them.  I have worn coach's skull caps and will continue doing so in my set up.  While i appreciate what All Star and Ump-Attire did with the Skully (and other products), I don't feel the need to buy what's in all reality a coach's skull cap with more padding and a shorter bill for twice the price of a standard coach's cap as the only means of safety on the plate.

The main idea is to make sure it works for YOU.  There is no blanket statement that covers every person's situation. I say a coach's cap can work and I have proved it myself. Remember, some of us have very limited funds and have to "engineer" our own gear to fit better or make ends meet.  One area though I try very hard not to compromise on is safety.  The SC500 and BC500 from All Star both will work under some masks depending on your setup.

Again, appreciate all you are doing for us, but I felt this needed a reply. 

Thank you,

Keith

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

The main idea is to make sure it works for YOU.  There is no blanket statement that covers every person's situation. I say a coach's cap can work and I have proved it myself. Remember, some of us have very limited funds and have to "engineer" our own gear to fit better or make ends meet.  One area though I try very hard not to compromise on is safety.  The SC500 and BC500 from All Star both will work under some masks depending on your setup.

Again, appreciate all you are doing for us, but I felt this needed a reply. 

Thanks for the nice reply. I understand your points completely.

Coming from a place where we reach tens of thousands of people with a few keystrokes and mouse clicks, it’s easier for me to make the blanket recommendation “wear the UMPIRE skull cap - not a traditional coach’s helmet - if you are an umpire”. (We/You know it will work with your mask).

That’s an easier message to get across to everyone, but most importantly, an easier message for the umpire community TO REMEMBER.

Great conversation. Keep it going.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, JimKirk said:

Thanks for the nice reply. I understand your points completely.

Coming from a place where we reach tens of thousands of people with a few keystrokes and mouse clicks, it’s easier for me to make the blanket recommendation “wear the UMPIRE skull cap - not a traditional coach’s helmet - if you are an umpire”. (We/You know it will work with your mask).

That’s an easier message to get across to everyone, but most importantly, an easier message for the umpire community TO REMEMBER.

Great conversation. Keep it going.

Thanks Jim. I am glad you took in the good spirit that I attempted to deliver it.

I can appreciate your viewpoint and message, especially considering your perspective.  Keep doing what you're doing too!  We umpires are very thankful for the unique and powerful opportunity to speak to someone on your level first-hand.  The fact that you consider our feedback and then become our voice is of value beyond mere words.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/18/2020 at 8:00 PM, MadMax said:

Before you scuff 'em up and repaint them, try this... 
724504013112-600x600.jpg

It's clear, and will "dull" the finish on the helmet without altering the paint color.

Ask and you shall receive. 

111260BB-494B-4A26-B008-3DA610FCC655.jpeg

0132BAB8-3F92-47F3-B3E6-C3285D120749.jpeg

A543F481-3104-4508-B73F-69EDE8C5F00A.jpeg

1E99CA11-0947-4EC0-B389-5BA2B6AB28EC.jpeg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/16/2020 at 10:13 AM, wolfe_man said:

Will do.

My thing on the UnCap is this... same cost as Cobalt Skully... so if I'm dropping $60 I'll go with a full hard hat.  I know you can use the UnCap in the field too, but then you have increased costs of new hats for the plate and the field.  I like the idea, but don't like the costs constantly going up.  Example: new UnCap $60, new plate hat in black & navy $40, new field hat in black & navy $40 adds up to $140 vs. only using Skully at plate for $60.  

I haven't even been close to being hit with a line drive in the field, especially near my head, so I think I can still move well enough to get out of the way.  Again, I like the idea but cannot justify the costs.  I mostly do HS, Legion and Babe Ruth level baseball though so I'm not seeing extreme velocities either.

I now have both Colbalt and Uncap. I will never use Uncap in the field. Probably will sell Uncap if I can’t find usage for it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Mr Ump said:

I now have both Colbalt and Uncap. I will never use Uncap in the field. Probably will sell Uncap if I can’t find usage for it.

I hear you my friend. At my level, I don't really need hard hat protection in the field.  Even in Varsity, I (thus far) have been able to get out of the way of line drives sent my way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hear you my friend. At my level, I don't really need hard hat protection in the field.  Even in Varsity, I (thus far) have been able to get out of the way of line drives sent my way.
Me too....but I had some close calls during the 2019 season! post 50, you're just slower!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Thunderheads said:

Me too....but I had some close calls during the 2019 season!emoji1.png post 50, you're just slower!

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

As my cousin says, it's not the years - it's the miles!

I think I've still got several of both left in me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...