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Old Sun Mar 25, 2007, 07:36pm
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Cleaning & caring for umpire equipment

I could not find a thread on this.

Just wondering how other umpires clean and care for their equipment.

What do you do when you have a day or more between games?

What do you do when you are doing a tournament, have done a plate and base and only have a 1 game break before doing another plate and base?

I know there are some who have enough shirts and pants to do several games a day. I think most of us don't have several pairs of shoes (plate and/or base), leg guards, chest protectors, masks, etc.

If you don't umpire all year how do you store your equipment?
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Old Sun Mar 25, 2007, 07:58pm
JEL JEL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLBuffalo
I could not find a thread on this.

Just wondering how other umpires clean and care for their equipment.

What do you do when you have a day or more between games?

What do you do when you are doing a tournament, have done a plate and base and only have a 1 game break before doing another plate and base?

I know there are some who have enough shirts and pants to do several games a day. I think most of us don't have several pairs of shoes (plate and/or base), leg guards, chest protectors, masks, etc.

If you don't umpire all year how do you store your equipment?
I clean the gear with laundry detergent and a brush, then hose down.
In tournies, a liberal usage of Fabreze, or something similar helps. If changing facilities are the car, I leave stuff on top of car to dry/air out. Shoes get a brushing if dusty, if muddy use a spray bottle of water and paper towels, then the liquid polish will dry between games.

For storage (only store about a month or so) I just clean everything and hang up in a closet that is dedicated solely to umpire gear.
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Old Sun Mar 25, 2007, 08:03pm
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Buff -

I only do weekend tournys & HS (Fall). Some things that I do (and I'm cheap uh frugal)

Hats - I always spray my hats down with water from a spray bottle to wash the salt stains off after the game or during break (3 man rotation)- they don't look nasty & I store them in one of those $4.00 ball cap things you can use in your dishwasher - helps to keep their shape

Shirts - I do the same as above to get rid of salt stains and hang them from my truck or on a fence with a clothes hanger - then I spray Fabreeze on them. The 1.5 hour break the shirt is dry. I do use at least 2 shirts a day if not more (3) - ITS AN INVESTMENT

Pants - I switch out pants during my off game - so the waist airs out & brush off the legs with a dry cloth napkin or towel (we use gray slacks) on break

Chest Protector - I hang it up with a hanger to get good circ. to dry and spray Fabreeze on that also.

Shoes - Good polish every morning & then a spray of water and a good wipe with a rag after that &/or more polish prior to the 'ship. Both plate & base.

Between Tourny's - I always put my equipment back in the same bin prior to leaving the field - this way I know where it is ALL the time. I wash my own uni's and also put in a bin and place in my truck - so I know I have all my stuff. Since I began this ritual - I never worry if I left something home since most of my tourny's are 2 hours away from my house.

Winter Storage - put all stuff in plastic & covered tubs so you don't find out until spring that mice were living in your base shoes - now you know why the plastic bins LOLOLOLOL

I am sure there are other guys with more expirence that can offer better/additional tips.
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Old Sun Mar 25, 2007, 08:23pm
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a couple of times a year I use a water hose and a bucket of dish soap and clean the protector mask guards real good and hang dry them. Other times I do a "wipe down" as needed.

Normal care like the above for the hats shirts etc during tourney weekends.
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Old Sun Mar 25, 2007, 09:22pm
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Last year I ran into umpires who wore hats on which the ASA letters were particularly "dirty". I finally realized that it was the pads from their masks which stained the letters and the only way I could figure out how that happened was the umpire was using some type of polish or oil on the pads.

Anyone else ever run into something like this?
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Old Sun Mar 25, 2007, 10:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Last year I ran into umpires who wore hats on which the ASA letters were particularly "dirty". I finally realized that it was the pads from their masks which stained the letters and the only way I could figure out how that happened was the umpire was using some type of polish or oil on the pads.

Anyone else ever run into something like this?
I have an older hat and I cant get the letters clean. I washed it in a washing machine, scrubbed them and still they stay dirty. I think it just comes from the long weekends of sweat/rinse/dry for tourneys because I dont use polish or oils on my mask, just soap and water occasionally. I dont wear it anymore but I had hoped to salvage the hat and gave it the college try.
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2007, 12:39am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadeintothem
I have an older hat and I cant get the letters clean. I washed it in a washing machine, scrubbed them and still they stay dirty. I think it just comes from the long weekends of sweat/rinse/dry for tourneys because I dont use polish or oils on my mask, just soap and water occasionally. I dont wear it anymore but I had hoped to salvage the hat and gave it the college try.
I have VERY CAREFULLY used a bleach pen on the white letters of one cap that was really bad and it worked. It was risky, I think, because the bleach could have bled. ;Course the loss would have been what, $12. However, they do make laundry pens with concentrated detergent that could get the muck off the letters.
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2007, 08:03am
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It's been a couple of years ago- and I think it was on this forum- since someone posted their sure-fire method for getting their hats clean. This sounds goofy, but I tried it and it really worked.

Wear your hat into the shower. Lather it up with whatever shampoo you normally use. Rinse well. (You might want to skip the conditioner!)

A couple of the hats I tried this on were "out of the rotation", as the white lettering was dirty enough that I didn't consider them presentable. They turned out with clean, crisp white lettering that really surprised me! They're back in use.

You'll be amazed by the amout of crud that rinses of the hats, creating a veritable mud puddle in the tub. Being on your head lets you scrub a little harder without deforming the hat and helps it keep it's shape. You might need to take it off and rinse out the inside, like rinsing out a bowl, a couple of times.

When you're done, and the hat is still wet, you can reshape it a bit if needed. Let it air-dry overnight and you're good to go.
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2007, 08:24am
JEL JEL is offline
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The hats are easy, if you don't object to the "folded look". The wife anf I throw ours in the wash with the pants and compression shorts, using Spray an Wash on the letters if needed. After the rinse cycle, fold them to dry.
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2007, 08:26am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEL
...a closet that is dedicated solely to umpire gear.
I, too, have one of those. The wife made sure of it!!!!
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2007, 03:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan
It's been a couple of years ago- and I think it was on this forum- since someone posted their sure-fire method for getting their hats clean. This sounds goofy, but I tried it and it really worked.

Wear your hat into the shower. Lather it up with whatever shampoo you normally use. Rinse well. (You might want to skip the conditioner!)

A couple of the hats I tried this on were "out of the rotation", as the white lettering was dirty enough that I didn't consider them presentable. They turned out with clean, crisp white lettering that really surprised me! They're back in use.

You'll be amazed by the amout of crud that rinses of the hats, creating a veritable mud puddle in the tub. Being on your head lets you scrub a little harder without deforming the hat and helps it keep it's shape. You might need to take it off and rinse out the inside, like rinsing out a bowl, a couple of times.

When you're done, and the hat is still wet, you can reshape it a bit if needed. Let it air-dry overnight and you're good to go.
What he said, works like a charm
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2007, 08:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan
It's been a couple of years ago- and I think it was on this forum- since someone posted their sure-fire method for getting their hats clean. This sounds goofy, but I tried it and it really worked.

Wear your hat into the shower. Lather it up with whatever shampoo you normally use. Rinse well. (You might want to skip the conditioner!)

A couple of the hats I tried this on were "out of the rotation", as the white lettering was dirty enough that I didn't consider them presentable. They turned out with clean, crisp white lettering that really surprised me! They're back in use.

You'll be amazed by the amout of crud that rinses of the hats, creating a veritable mud puddle in the tub. Being on your head lets you scrub a little harder without deforming the hat and helps it keep it's shape. You might need to take it off and rinse out the inside, like rinsing out a bowl, a couple of times.

When you're done, and the hat is still wet, you can reshape it a bit if needed. Let it air-dry overnight and you're good to go.
Man, if this is a goof.. I'm coming after you bretman.

I wouldnt mind salvaging this hat.
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2007, 09:08pm
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Ha! Nope, I really read this on a discussion board back awhile ago and I really tried it and it really worked.

I guess that your mileage might vary, depending on just what kind of gunk is on your hat. If you try it, Wade, let us know how it turns out.

But it would be kind of cool joke if there was some chemical reaction that turned your hair green or something!

Last edited by BretMan; Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 09:10pm.
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