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Mask Pad Replacement


Ump Man Do

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So I have seen recommendations that mask pads should be changed every 1 to 2 years.  Do those who have been doing this for awhile go by that?  I have 2 Diamond masks with Team Wendy pads.  One has been used for 3 years and the other for 2.  Both still feel good and since I don't sweat too much are both in great shape.  I will gladly spend the money to replace them this off season if most people think the 1 to 2 year life is legit?  Any thoughts are appreciated.  And while we are at it, for those that use TW pads, how do you clean them?  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Ump Man Do said:

So I have seen recommendations that mask pads should be changed every 1 to 2 years.

Consider the source. This has been an exaggeration sprouted from … official sources who more often than not, have vested interest in our purchasing of said pads, or have a relationship with the vendors of said pads (and shirts, and hats, and… ). This “advice” is then fostered and propagated at camps, clinics, and association meetings, often in casual passing and with little to no contestation. Very, very few of us know anything about what comprises mask pads. 

1 hour ago, Ump Man Do said:

Do those who have been doing this for awhile go by that?

Nope. 

I do some 150-160 plate games per year, and all five of the masks in my arsenal have pads that are greater than 2 years old. In fact, the two DynAlums I use for about 75% of those games are using Team Wendy pads that I purchased before I relocated to Phoenix… so 6 years old. 

I keep them clean and structurally intact. I took a whallop last week wherein I caught the mask in mid-air after it got knocked off my face! 🤷🏼‍♂️ And, I’m fine… or no worse than before. 

1 hour ago, Ump Man Do said:

I will gladly spend the money to replace them this off season if most people think the 1 to 2 year life is legit?

It’s not. Spend the money on new shirts, or a better jacket, or on something for your SWMBO ( @Aging_Arbiter would endorse this). 

1 hour ago, Ump Man Do said:

And while we are at it, for those that use TW pads, how do you clean them?

Launder them, but for any of my umpire-specific washable gear, I don’t use off-the-shelf detergent (like Tide). No, I use a technical soap, such as Nathan (or Penguin) SportWash. 
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3 hours ago, MadMax said:

Consider the source. This has been an exaggeration sprouted from … official sources who more often than not, have vested interest in our purchasing of said pads, or have a relationship with the vendors of said pads (and shirts, and hats, and… ). This “advice” is then fostered and propagated at camps, clinics, and association meetings, often in casual passing and with little to no contestation. Very, very few of us know anything about what comprises mask pads. 

 

MiLB umpire development/medical highly recommends that pads are replaced every 1-2 seasons. I get new pads before every season 

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5 hours ago, tpatience said:

MiLB umpire development/medical highly recommends

When your boss, who foots your medical coverage, recommends something, I wouldn't argue, understandably. 

However, I'm going to reiterate – none of these sources understand how pads function or what comprises them. They couldn't even properly differentiate between titanium and steel when presenting a slapdash advisory on how "titanium was dangerous". This same advisory leant heavily on HSMs as the "ideal solution". We work in a sport that is dominated by numbers, metrics, and data, and thru all these advisories, there's been a glaring lack of data, numbers and metrics on pad performance. If there was, we'd have had a much more definitive action undertaken – either the "official supplier" would be fired (still hasn't happened) or the "official supplier" would be drastically revamping their product lineup to provide better numbers and data. 

 

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I 100% agree with @MadMax.  I have 4 masks in an informal rotation.  Each mask sees about 15-20 games/year max.  It would be wasteful to changes these pads out after 2 years.  I fully understand the science behind masks.  We spend a lot of time talking about frames but, in reality,  the frame has two functions;  stop the ball from hitting the face and to hold the pads.  The pads are what really absorbs the impact.  

I hand wash my washable pads with a little ivory soap and rinsed very well.  Air dry in the bright sun.

 

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