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Very nice WSJ journal article. Awesome to see our gear getting national mainstream media attention. And also glad the F-3 mask is finally catching on with many MLB catchers. I saw lots of Div I umpires (and catchers) wearing it last season. A shame Wilson has allegedly been permitted to suppress its more widespread use through exclusive equipment MLB deals re: labels and emblems on the field. And I'm certainly not knocking other great masks other umpires passionately like, like the All-Star Magnesium. If F-3 and All-Star combined to make an F-3 with Magnesium geometry, that would be the ultimate in protection.

While I have both the V-1 (4-spring) and V-2 (3-spring), I actually prefer the V-1 and believe through perceived impact to my own brain that it provides better protection, but it's a bit heavier (not so noticeable if the elastic headstrap is worn snug)--impacts to the chin are just much harsher with the V-2. But the V-2 also provides awesome protection, and I can certainly see why catchers prefer the V-2, and that's the one I've been wearing the past two seasons.  A trade off:  just like the Wilson West Pro Black shin guards clearly provide better protection than my F-3 shin guards, I ain't wearing those Wilsons--tried that--gave them away. But they were definitely bullet proof.

Good to see Jason Klein and Force3 getting some press! Much deserved.

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1 hour ago, Recontra said:

And also glad the Force3 mask is finally catching on with many MLB catchers.

More important than just this, the Force3 Defender has become the Official Mask of Major League Baseball (catchers). What does this mean? The Defender can proudly be emblazoned with the cherished MLB logo. 

Ya hear that Wilson?!?! This is what progress looks like! 

Now, why don’t more MLB Umpires use it? Because, the unpublished protocol for Major League umpires receiving a head impact is they are coming out of the game, regardless of how they “feel” at that time. Why? Because the players (and by extension, the pitching & hitting coaches of the clubs) now have the perception that that Plate Umpire’s discernment of balls & strikes may – not is, may – be compromised. So, it’s more agreeable to exchange in another plate umpire than for the existing umpire to “battle through it”. 

Thus, if you are coming out of the game anyway, you are much more likely to favor a mask that’s either inexpensive, but serviceable (hence why the Dynalite still makes its appearance), or is extremely light and strong (All-Star FM4K-Mag, Nike Ti Icon, Wilson DynaTitanium, et.al.), strong enough to survive one helluva whallop. The Force3 Defender, by contrast, is designed to take multiple impacts, at the cost of unit weight. It excels at taking you to the next impact. 

Honestly, we don’t need a Force3 / All-Star hybrid; we need Wilson to pi$$ or get off the pot. 


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