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NIKE MASK(Titanium)


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35 minutes ago, GreyhoundAggie said:

I've tried doing some research on the site. But there is so much.

Can someone break down for me why these mask are so good and worth the money? Visibility? Safety? Weight?

Just trying to get more info and see if its worth popping on one.

Visibility is very good.  They are wicked lightweight also.

They are the best-looking mask out there in my honest opinion.

Finally, they are a unicorn (or were) so everybody wanted one.  Now, there are more out there than ever before (and becoming more truer each day) but they are still very desirable masks.

For me, I'd like one (I want one of everything!) - but the AS MAG is also a great mask and available for less money with better pads.

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46 minutes ago, GreyhoundAggie said:

Can someone break down for me why these mask are so good and worth the money? Visibility? Safety? Weight?

Because a true Nike Titanium is the ultimate “plate cred” or “ump cred” mask. It represents exclusivity (can’t buy them retail), elegance (thin, simple bar layout), strength (titanium, duh), and swagger (when you own one, you do not let it get beat up). The layout it uses is iconic baseball; as such, I coined the (nick)name – the Icon. 

Oddly enough, it was first produced for Jorge Posada, who at the time was a Rawlings-endorsed catcher. A deal was struck between Jorge and Nike, and Nike soon produced shinguards, a chest protector, and a harness resplendent in Nike swooshes. Here they were, placing their mark on possibly the most viewed catcher in all of baseball. Posada made a request for a new mask, and while I don’t know the exact details, the Icon’s form was created for Posada specifically – light, yet strong, with optimized visibility. Lastly (and this is why I get sooooooo irritated with @tpatience ), an extension was placed on the bottom of the mask, the chin, so as to act in lieu of a dangling throat guard. As such, it was oversized, and had no forward rake – it looped straight down. This proved more effective for a big league catcher than a dangling throat guard (because pro catchers are conditioned to drop their chin to their chest to block), but it also allowed Posada to prop the mask atop his head frequently without a throat guard hanging in his face. 

The Nike Titanium had just become a component of (photographic) immortality. 

Titanium was employed because it was strong, light, but also that it only required one bar, while everyone else (at the time) was doing double bars of much heavier steel. Wilson quickly followed suit, but for a time, could only produce their version in steel. And, because of Wilson’s limited investment in product refinement, their masks were vinyl-dipped. To be fair, Nike also made a steel version of this iconic form, and it, too, was vinyl-dipped. 

Nike, never one to miss on a marketing opportunity, quickly began signing and supplying other professional catchers (sorry, Wilson, you don’t make attire and shoes!), as well as bundling their catcher gear up to supply to the bevy of US universities under their brand contract. At that same time, though, a market analysis was done, and Nike realized that there wasn’t a sustainable market to sell the masks to the general public. Perhaps it was a trade/tariff/import block (that which keeps Mizuno and SSK out), or it was the NFHS ruling that all masks for high school baseball and softball had to be one-piece (thus eliminating a significant part of Nike’s available market), or that someone at Nike voiced that if you (we) sell ‘em, then you (we) better be prepared to service & accept returns on ‘em (evidently, Wilson never got this insight). There may have been other factors, too, but the point is – the Nike “Icon” Titanium never went on retail sale. Sure, it had retail hang-tags on it, and had a value assigned to it, but that was expressly for importation purposes (everything imported must have a declared value). The mask was never sold, it was only, exclusively supplied. This drove interest and demand for it to (relatively) crazy heights. To have one, as an amateur player, meant you were either endorsed by Nike, or there was a story about how you got it via a circuitous route. To have one, as an amateur umpire, meant another long or lucky story. There was always a story involved; umpires love telling stories. 

As a gear guy, what confounds me are the pads – they’re really, really good, but not indicative of Nike’s obsession with product advancement. Now, certainly, they’ve got Wilson’s and Rawlings beat by a ton, but it’s not like they’re using Air Max bladders, or their latest React foam in these mask pads. They are using a “gel foam”, which is a type of memory foam that I classify as a “wet” foam – the foam is jacketed within a membrane to keep it from drying out and becoming brittle. To Nike’s credit, they understood that the Titanium mask, being “obscenely” (more like a-proportionally) light in mass, needed to be paired with a dense, relatively massive foam pad to absorb the energy. As such, the gel-foam pads are noticeably denser than All-Star’s vaunted LUC-Mag pads. 

Most users (umpires, specifically) don’t understand how pads function or what comprises them; also, only 1/6th of the Nike masks came with black pads. As such, most users eschewed the gel-foam pads and stuck in Wilsons, Honig’s… or these new pads from an outfit named Team Wendy’s. 

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It really just boils down to preference.  Some guys are Chevy guys, some guys are Mopar guys, and then some weirdos are into Ford. 😉

These are VERY light weight, strong, and provide great visibility, wont rust, and pretty versatile when wanting to put any harness or pads that would give it your unique look.  

The one frustrating thing about the Nike mask, it that you can't buy them on the market.  Just know now, that you guys now have a supplier. I tried my best to get the whole package with logo and harness, but to no avail.   Feel free to reach out anytime guys...here to help! 

 

Mike Jarboe (818)298-1376

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37 minutes ago, Whosyourcaddy said:

It really just boils down to preference.  Some guys are Chevy guys, some guys are Mopar guys, and then some weirdos are into Ford. 😉

These are VERY light weight, strong, and provide great visibility, wont rust, and pretty versatile when wanting to put any harness or pads that would give it your unique look.  

The one frustrating thing about the Nike mask, it that you can't buy them on the market.  Just know now, that you guys now have a supplier. I tried my best to get the whole package with logo and harness, but to no avail.   Feel free to reach out anytime guys...here to help! 

 

Mike Jarboe (818)298-1376

And we're glad to have you here Mike!  I have 3 masks currently but am having a really hard time not ordering one of these from you!

Are these coated?  They look a little less bright than some new Nike Ti's I've held, so I thought maybe these came coated with a clear coat or something that dulled them a little.

Thanks!

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27 minutes ago, Whosyourcaddy said:

When I asked the Nike Rep why it was a smidge different in color, I was told that these new ones are being coated with a "clear" to cut down on glare.  What's nice, is it weighed the same as an older model Nike.  

I thought that was it and I think that's a great plus.  The clear coat will prevent the "greying" that the other Nike Ti's get.  Once you have one for awhile, the "shine" is gone and it fades to a very dull, flat grey.  The clear coat will help it to hold it's color better!

Thanks for the reply.  I'm trying to justify to myself why I need another mask, but in my head I"m thinking of what I need to move to make it easier for me. 😁

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1 hour ago, wolfe_man said:

I'm trying to justify to myself why I need another mask, but in my head I"m thinking of what I need to move to make it easier for me.

Same here, but I still have an All-Star FM4KMag (in black) and a Champro Rampage (to goto MaskIt to become sky blue) to cross off my list first... I'm too vain. I brought 4 masks with me this weekend, and used all 4 in accordance to time of day (sunlight versus artificial lights; temperature for the pads) and shirt used with it (black, sky blue, grey, etc.). 

I fully endorse the venture, just can't pull the trigger... yet. 

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16 minutes ago, MadMax said:

Same here, but I still have an All-Star FM4KMag (in black) and a Champro Rampage (to goto MaskIt to become sky blue) to cross off my list first... I'm too vain. I brought 4 masks with me this weekend, and used all 4 in accordance to time of day (sunlight versus artificial lights; temperature for the pads) and shirt used with it (black, sky blue, grey, etc.). 

I fully endorse the venture, just can't pull the trigger... yet. 

Do you know how the LUC-Mag pads would fit in the Nike TI mask? I put them on my Diamond mask and like them so far. Bulkier but more comfortable than my TW pads.

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1 minute ago, GreyhoundAggie said:

Do you know how the LUC-Mag pads would fit in the Nike TI mask? I put them on my Diamond mask and like them so far. Bulkier but more comfortable than my TW pads.

They fit great. I've used them on many an Adidas frame with no issues.

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4 hours ago, MadMax said:

I fully endorse the venture, just can't pull the trigger... yet. 

Ditto here. I am happy that we now have a direct resource for these.

I'm one of the people that went against the grain on these and sold the ones I had. For some reason, felt guilty for owning such an expensive item. And when Acpar made me am offer I couldn't refuse on his chopped MAG, I was able to justify selling the Nike.

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12 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

For some reason, felt guilty for owning such an expensive item.

I did the same thing for similar reasons!  Plus, I was worried what might happen if I dented it... dumb idea to wear at $400 mask and let people throw baseballs at it, right? So I went back to using Adidas and my MAG again, but the Adidas earguards drive me crazy because they are almost never symmetrical.  One ear always is sagging/drooping more than the other and it drives me crazy, so I keep thinking I'll find a cheap Nike again somewhere and start again.

I'm really close to doing this route!

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I just realized, after reading all of these messages, what an opportunity I had when I walked past the D1's equipment room before I did an intrasquad for them this fall.  If only I had 10 foot arms to reach the 10 or so masks they had hanging there....

Being a newbie, I was surprised how light they were when I picked up the F2's mask to hand it back to them. My first thought was that it was no way going to protect them for being so light.   I guess I am more a 2 ton vehicle type of guy needing to 'feel the weight' of protection.

If I am so fortunate and able to do some intrasquads for them next year, I will let everyone know that.... well, I better shut up for now...

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12 hours ago, wolfe_man said:

... but the Adidas earguards drive me crazy because they are almost never symmetrical.  One ear always is sagging/drooping more than the other and it drives me crazy,

LOL! I never thought about that being a thing. I have been tempted in the past, before I found a Rawlings Ti that I really like as my backup behind my MAG, of buying one of those Adidas on Ebay that are in that $40-50 range. I just have never got around to it and probably never will.

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2 hours ago, BT_Blue said:

 

tell-me-more-john-travolta.gif

Bought a Nike Ti from Whosyourcaddy. Decided I needed one, so early Christmas present to me! Called yesterday and was delivered today. I always wanted one, so I pulled the trigger. I'll put some TW pads on it. I'll probably break it out only on certain games. My regular mask is the FM4000 System 7, which I really like.

Don't want to brag, but I figured a new mask is in order when I do the Tee-Ball WS next year! :lol:

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