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Old_Dub13

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Hey All,

Im just getting into umpiring my boys’ little league games, and I’d like to look into the possibility of getting some of my own equipment. The league provides some, but I know how sweaty I get in it and I’m sure nobody wants to put it on after I’m done! 
 

I’d like to hear what you all might recommend for gear, and hopefully maybe point me in the right direction for some resources/suppliers where I could order some. Since we’re talking little league, I don’t necessarily need top tier gear. Thanks in advance for all your help!

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Welcome. While you are correct about the velocity you will be seeing, you will be getting hit more often. Especially down low. BTDT. Here is my recommendations. 
 
Starting from the bottom:

Smitty plate shoes

Wilson platinum shin guards

Nutty Buddy cup

Adams XV HDX or Champion Body Armor chest protector.  Either way get a  F3 harness. 

Diamond Big League Aluminum mask with a 6” Champro throat guard. 

It isn’t a cheap hobby to get started.  This package will be about $400. All this is suitable to almost any level of baseball.  Buy good stuff the first time. Its cheaper in the long run.  You will never regret having more protection than you need.  

 

 

 

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57 minutes ago, boyinr said:

 

This package will be about $400. All this is suitable to almost any level of baseball.  Buy good stuff the first time. Its cheaper in the long run.  You will never regret having more protection than you need.

 

This a thousand times over. Buy quality up front and you won’t need to upgrade and save in the long run. Buy cheap and you’ll end up replacing it and spending those funds again.

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Don't skimp on your mask/pad combo.  Your head/face protection is a top concern.

Back when I was starting out I was choosing between two chest protectors (which two is not important.) The price difference was about $50.  I realized that my ER co-pay was $50 so I went with the higher level protector.

Welcome to the club.  You never know while you think you are just "helping out" now, you just may catch the bug and want to continue.  Either way best of luck!!

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I would agree with most of @boyinrrecommendations. HOWEVER I would make some changes.

1) look at 3n2 plate shoes as well as Smitty. 

2) I would also recommend the Champion chest protector. It is a good $20 less expensive. But just as protective. At one point it was one of the fastest growing, numbers wise, chest protectors in the minors because of those two reasons. (Apologies... just noticed he mentioned the Champion as well.)

3) the shin guards you could be fine going a little less expensive. For instance, the Diamond shin guards.

4) I completely agree with the mask choice! The Diamond mask is fabulous and will last you YEARS!

_____ 

Regardless... we all DEFINITELY recommend getting your gear through @JimKirkand Ump-Attire.com! They offer free shipping (over $130, but that often drops down to $99). This makes it so that you can order multiple sizes and types to see what works best for you.

Even better, is that they offer free returns! 

They also do have a buyers guide for new umpires on the website you can get a tone of info from.

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after reading these guys on here for a while and watching a few LL games every now and then.

Agree with btblue

And

Consider using outside protector provided by league.

If league has decent mask like you see on jimkirk already, you might want to just get your own set of team Wendy mask pads and switch them out each week with the league mask provided.

Nutty buddy or shock doctor titanium (titan alloy)cup, look like 2 choices from jimkirk. can't beat that nuttybuddy demo if they still have it.

Leave gear as a donation to LL when you hang it up.

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You need the intersection of affordable and protective. That being said, DO NOT go cheap!!! Especially if your day job is in a position where you having a concussion, a broken rib, a cracked patella, broken toe, etc. would render you unable to make a living.

Mask/Helmet:

- Champro Pro-plus w/ aftermarket pads

- All-star FM25 w/ aftermarket pads

- All-Star System 7 or MVP2400 Helmet   (I wore the S7 when I caught and took plenty of nuke fouls to the forehead with zero felt effects. In addition, you may like the fact that it can improve wholistic protection if you have clamshell backstops, a tendency to duck, and/or are worried about being hit with a pitched bat.)

CP:

- Champion Hard Shell

- Champro Plate Armor

SG:

- Diamond Ump-lites

- Diamond ULG

Plate Shoes:     

Any of the current retail models will be adequate, but I would encourage you to get the Smittys or NB. If you have big feet get the 3n2s or NB in wide or double wide.

And remember to invest in a high quality cup!

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Lots of great suggestions here. I can say, but once, cry once. As a newer umpire who does a lot of lower level games, you need good equipment because you WILL get hit, a lot. 

I can definitely recommend the Champion Armor style CP, the Diamond ix3 leg guards and the All-Star S7 Umpire mask (FM4000UMP) with the LUC pads. The LUC pads are great and don't soak up sweat. I also use the All-Star Cobalt Umpire Skullcap. It gives me the additional head protection while wearing a traditional mask and still weighs less than a hockey style helmet.  

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You may want to search Craigslist (or here)(or ebay) as well. You can sometimes find somebody who is hanging it up and wants to sell. I bought a bunch of stuff this way, kept what I wanted and donated the rest to my son's LL. It can also allow you to try out different gear. I really like my Diamond mask, it's super light, but I prefer the view thru my Honig's hollow steel mask. It's slightly heavier, but I just prefer looking thru it. 

I got my first set of gear off of Craigslist. And a couple things on ebay. A year later, I swapped out an old V-Sport CP for the Adams. This year, I replaced my Diamond UmpLite shins for a pair of Force3. 

This is from our (kind of) local Craigslist.

Umpire Gear - $1 (Sammamish)

 

Plate Shoes - 3N2 - Size 9 ½ EE - $35
Base Shoes - 3N2 - Size 9 ½ EE - $25
Shin Guards - Diamond - Size 17, Posi-Fit - $20
Chest Protector - Diamond - DCP-iX3 UMP - $15
Chest Protector - Schutt - Model XV $30
Face Mask - Honig’s - $35
Gear Bag to hold it all - $20
Ball bags, Counters, Red flag, plate brushes - $1 each
Various Caps - $2 each
Take it all for $160

And don't be frugal with your cup. You will take a shot to the jewels. And while it still sucks with a good cup, it's not as bad as a cheap cup. 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Mister B said:

You may want to search Craigslist (or here)(or ebay) as well. You can sometimes find somebody who is hanging it up and wants to sell. I bought a bunch of stuff this way, kept what I wanted and donated the rest to my son's LL. It can also allow you to try out different gear. I really like my Diamond mask, it's super light, but I prefer the view thru my Honig's hollow steel mask. It's slightly heavier, but I just prefer looking thru it. 

I got my first set of gear off of Craigslist. And a couple things on ebay. A year later, I swapped out an old V-Sport CP for the Adams. This year, I replaced my Diamond UmpLite shins for a pair of Force3. 

This is from our (kind of) local Craigslist.

Umpire Gear - $1 (Sammamish)

 

Plate Shoes - 3N2 - Size 9 ½ EE - $35
Base Shoes - 3N2 - Size 9 ½ EE - $25
Shin Guards - Diamond - Size 17, Posi-Fit - $20
Chest Protector - Diamond - DCP-iX3 UMP - $15
Chest Protector - Schutt - Model XV $30
Face Mask - Honig’s - $35
Gear Bag to hold it all - $20
Ball bags, Counters, Red flag, plate brushes - $1 each
Various Caps - $2 each
Take it all for $160

And don't be frugal with your cup. You will take a shot to the jewels. And while it still sucks with a good cup, it's not as bad as a cheap cup. 

Interesting. I went tye other direction. Going from the Schutt to an All American.

Do you still have the V-Sport? 

Getting back on topic... that listing is actually a pretty decent deal.

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2 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

Do you still have the V-Sport? 

Yep, Might be pulling it out as the weather gets colder. The Schutt was a godsend when I was working 4 games a day in the summer. I didn't get Ray's harness, but I found an All-Star System 7 for $15 and put that on the V-Sport. I love the V-Sport, but there is absolutely no air flow with that, and it gets really hot. And it's still in really good shape. 

AM-JKLVLhcw0KRMJmepL2EI4T4-H0UCFrIRy6ThK

AM-JKLWXHjwPAtbFvYetLSIGzAJFLr5n2bb4zks1

 

 

 

6 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

Getting back on topic... that listing is actually a pretty decent deal.

It's taking some serious will-power to not check to see if it's still available. I've got everything, but that's a good price. 

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On 10/18/2021 at 10:03 PM, Mister B said:

Yep, Might be pulling it out as the weather gets colder. The Schutt was a godsend when I was working 4 games a day in the summer. I didn't get Ray's harness, but I found an All-Star System 7 for $15 and put that on the V-Sport. I love the V-Sport, but there is absolutely no air flow with that, and it gets really hot. And it's still in really good shape. 

AM-JKLVLhcw0KRMJmepL2EI4T4-H0UCFrIRy6ThK

AM-JKLWXHjwPAtbFvYetLSIGzAJFLr5n2bb4zks1

VERY NICE! My AA got mothballed for the Cobalt. But still love it. I plan to replace the chest padding with a Champion I have. But it is still a fabulous CP that I would use for any level!

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On 10/20/2021 at 4:46 AM, BT_Blue said:

VERY NICE! My AA got mothballed for the Cobalt. But still love it. I plan to replace the chest padding with a Champion I have. But it is still a fabulous CP that I would use for any level!

If you ever want to sell the AA let me know...

Sorry, not trying to hijack. IMO get good gear but don't spend a ton when starting. Put a lot of thought into your mask pads.

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10 hours ago, Scissors said:

If you ever want to sell the AA let me know...

If I do, I will list it here first.

Honestly, it will probably happen depending on how I feel next spring. This year was the culmination of the last few years of umpiring not being a ton of fun. So if I decide to step away, stuff will definitely hit the market.

ANYWAYS.... enough of that... back to your regularly scheduled topic.

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@Old_Dub13any news on what you decided on or what you got?

Is there anything that you are up in the air about that we could help you with in making a decision? 

Hopefully you decide to let us know. It is always fun to see what people decide on. And sad if the person just disappears. 

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I went the cheap route to start. it got me by for a year and then in my 2nd year I got my bell rung by a 12 yr old.

 

Don't go dirt cheap 1st time out my 2 cents. 

To me a good jock and cup were the shock doctor combo, I been hit there enough to know the carbon fibre one works damn great.

The mask I went dumb after getting my bell rung and bought a Allstar Mag with Luc pads Yep stupid $$ but its my head and that's where I want the protection.

CP for the most part you can get away with anything that has armor and you will be fine.  The thick padding one I had to start from champro was light and worked ok. but I did feel a lot more than I do now with my armored set up I have now

I had the complete champro cheap set up the shin guards worked ok but you still felt the balls hit.  F3 shin guards to me are like getting into a nice soft Cadillac seat. You just know you wont feel anything when you get hit. Well worth the $$ to me there.

Oh throat guard.  Dont get the little 3 inch thing get the 6 inch one to make sure it actually does its job properly. I took one off the guard this week that was set up properly and did its job and I am glad I made that change earlier this year.

anyway expect to get hit with little leagues  the pitchers are wild and have next to nothing for control and the catchers are not very good.  You will find combos of pitchers and catchers that have their stuff together and you will have a great time behind them at that point but chances are the other teams combo will be lighting you up like its their job. 

My biggest thing though.  Don't be afraid to get hit. just accept its coming and take it face 1st. If you start getting jumpy or turning away from it that is when you will take it somewhere not protected and it will hurt more.

try not to suck, and if its close call it... 

 

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The world according to mac266:  Buy equipment that you'll use for varsity level high school baseball.  I went cheap the first time around (the package from Champro that includes a chest protector, mask, shin guards, ball bag, indicator, and plate brush).  In my second season I replaced everything except the plate brush. 

Now I'm wearing:  Wilson West Vest gold chest protector, Force 3 shin guards, an All-Star hockey style helmet.  My ball bags are higher quality, and I went with a 3-dial indicator. 

Oh, and my cup will withstand a thermonuclear blast. 

This year I also added some tights made by Force 3 that have some kevlar pads on the inner thigh.  I've taken a few fouls there, and they deaden it a little.  But wearing the tights helps prevent chafing from the shin guards. 

Of course, these are what I'm using, and your mileage may vary.  But I still hold to my original point:  Buy equipment that you could wear for varsity level baseball.  As you move up, you won't have to buy all your gear again.  It worked out for me, because I gave all that starter gear to my 15 year-old, who also plays, but who got hired to umpire Triple Crown tournaments with me. 

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