The Official Forum  

Go Back   The Official Forum > Baseball

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sat Oct 15, 2005, 08:41am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Hello,

This is my first post here and please excuse my naivete. This is a serious inquiry.

I began umpiring at age 14 (1966) doing little-league games and progressing upward as perhaps most everybody here started out.I took my work extremely serious and had some very good instructors during the early years. I even considered becoming professional at one time but college got in the way and I started my career and then a family. In the 20 years that I umpired baseball (mostly high school and some small colleges), I never once lost control of a game and was often complemented by other coaches and administrators for my professionalism and quality of officiating. Obviously, like you folks, you love doing this.

In the early 1980's(?) other priorities got in the way and I packed my equiptment away for good. I am now 54, need to get in better shape, have some free time, and desire to umpire once again--perhaps at the high school or higher. Here's my delimma (and please don't laugh).


When I "retired", I still used an outside chest protector whenever I was behind the plate (remember those?). Obviously, in the past 25 years, the inside chest protector has been universally adopted. I however, feel absoultely naked and vulerable without the outside protector and , for the life of me, don't know how anybody made that transition 25 years ago. All I can remember is foul ball smashing me in the chest without even a flinch. Now, I don't kmow.

I've asked a few umpires about this subject from time to time, and they look at me as if I were from Mars. Would somebody please give me the lowdown on this piece of equiptment, how it works, techniques, etc. Does anybody still use an outside protector anymore? Help me out with any comments. Thanks.

Bill
(Michigan)

Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Sat Oct 15, 2005, 09:17am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: West Michigan (Comstock Park)
Posts: 176
Bill:
I sometimes see younger umpires (14 years old+) use an outside chest protector because they think they can "hide" from a foul ball. I seem to recall that I have never used the "baloon" chest protector as it restricts my mobility (I have been umpiring for about 15 years). I am not certain what you are looking to find in the way of how the inside chest protecter works, techniques etc. although I suggest you check Honig's or other umpire equipment web sites as there are various styles and prices. Hope this helps.

BTW, where in Michigan are you located?

Sam
__________________
Perfection is a goal which we work to attain
NFHS/Little League
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sat Oct 15, 2005, 09:35am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Wink

Thanks for the reply.

I guess my question is, foul balls go every wich way. I dont see any protection on the arms, elbows and/or throat. I there a technique?

btw- I live in Lake Orion, Michigan ("where living is a vacation" or so sais the sigh on Laperr Road
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Sat Oct 15, 2005, 10:40am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 2,716
Quote:
Originally posted by BillA
Thanks for the reply.

I guess my question is, foul balls go every wich way. I dont see any protection on the arms, elbows and/or throat. I there a technique?

btw- I live in Lake Orion, Michigan ("where living is a vacation" or so sais the sigh on Laperr Road
First of all Bill , you will never get the same protection that the outside protector(OP), provided. The fact that some, didn't think it looked cool, (when it fact it is much cooler on hot days than an inside prtector) and that it was cumbersome for others seemed to be it's demise. Then there were those that just weren't talented enough to hold the OP and there indaclickercounter and be able to pull a ball out of there bag. Either way, it's not used that much anymore and good thing, because just think of all the different colors that would be coming out each year because it didn't match the most recent outfit of the year.

I am not adverse to change, in fact change is good, some times it is just amusing how things come around.

Enough of me blabbing. Get a good mask with a throat protector and a vest that offers good neck, collarbone, shoulder and upper protection. Develope a a comfortable stance that offers maximum view of the strike zone and protection against foul balls, and keep your body square and upright to the pitch at all times, and you will probably be fine. This affords you maximum protection with the equipment your wearing.There are 101 different vests on the market, so your gonna have to decide what works for you.

Will you still get hit on the arms and elbows? Yes. Not often but, yes. Your other alternative is , Stick with the Balloon.

Good luck.

Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Sat Oct 15, 2005, 10:48am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: West Michigan (Comstock Park)
Posts: 176
Quote:
Originally posted by BillA
Thanks for the reply.

I guess my question is, foul balls go every wich way. I dont see any protection on the arms, elbows and/or throat. I there a technique?

btw- I live in Lake Orion, Michigan ("where living is a vacation" or so sais the sigh on Laperr Road
Maintail your "stance". My 9th grade baseball coach (many moons ago) told me that as a catcher I should "see the ball hit me" meaning do not turn my head or body during foul balls or non-caught pitches. I apply this while working behind the plate as an umpire.
Chest protectors, depending on quality, provide protection for your upper arms, shoulders and upper chest area. Your face mask with extended throat protector, along with a "dangling" throat protector added to your mask, should provide coverage.
Hope this helps.
Sam
(West Michigan area)

[Edited by U of M Sam on Oct 15th, 2005 at 11:51 AM]
__________________
Perfection is a goal which we work to attain
NFHS/Little League
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Sat Oct 15, 2005, 04:42pm
DG DG is offline
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,022
Quote:
Originally posted by BillA
I guess my question is, foul balls go every wich way. I dont see any protection on the arms, elbows and/or throat. I there a technique?
The chest protector protects your chest. Buy the best one you can get, for the level of ball you will call. Get a throat protector for you mask, and buy the best mask you can also. On foul balls you will more likely get hit in the mask or chest protector. You can buy elbow protectors, but nobody I know uses them. The best technique is to lock into position and let your equipment protect you. However, you will occassionally get hit, in an unprotected area. As every catcher knows, if you are not fearless, and can't stand getting hit every now and then, you can't play catcher.

The pinky finger on my left hand was broken early in the year in a college age game on an inside pitch that the catcher did not even get a glove on, why I don't know. It was the first inning of a double header on a Sunday, I completed that game and the next, and it was Tuesday before I could make it to the doctor's office to get it checked out. I still have a little bend in the lower half of my pinky that will be with me forever.

If getting hit in an unprotected body part is a major concern for you I would advise you not take up umpiring again, because you will get hit, sooner or later.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:53am.



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1