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  #46 (permalink)  
Old Sat Dec 23, 2006, 06:49pm
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Levi Action Slacks (JC Penneys) worked very well for me when I started out. The Sears slacks are good too. Neither wore out after 5 years. Haggars suck.
Just starting out, the key is to look as good as possible. I've worn Puritan brand for everyday pants and haven't had a problem with them.
Take your gear with you to the store and try 'em on all geared up. One peeve of mine is guys who wear pants that are too narrow or too short in the leg. The pants look good at the plate, but go into a stance and the pants ride up the leg. Avoid that.
I wear Honigs combos on the plate and a reg. pair of his base slacks. Don't spend a lot of money to start. Get the basics and then upgrade a little each year.
Wal Mart buys: socks, belt, pants.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old Sat Dec 23, 2006, 07:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadCityRef
Don't spend a lot of money to start. Get the basics and then upgrade a little each year.
Wal Mart buys: socks, belt, pants.
that wouldnt fly in my association

buy umpire pants if you are going to umpire
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old Sat Dec 23, 2006, 07:23pm
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Exactly,

This thread went right were I thought it would.

You would not be assigned games in my group if you wore "Levi Action Slacks (JC Penneys)".

You ever wonder why baseball umpires have the hardest time of all getting respect . . . look at the new Honig's mailer . . . they now have umpire shirts in 5XL.

Regards,
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old Sat Dec 23, 2006, 10:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briancurtin
that wouldnt fly in my association

buy umpire pants if you are going to umpire
It shouldnt fly in any association. I have gotten flack from people for spending $45-75 for slacks from Honig's before when they spent $15 at Wal Mart.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old Sat Dec 23, 2006, 10:55pm
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Location: Lakeside, California
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Perhaps these days it is more important than before to wear umpire pants.

When I first started out in the '80s, very few umpires had actual umpire pants in my association. It wasn't until around 1990 that they started gaining in popularity, with a mid-90's shift to the majority of members wearing them.

I wore Sears heather gray dress polyesters for the first 5 years I umpired, because that was what was recommended to me by the leaders of the association when I started out, and was listed on the pre-season approved uniform list. Then in 1990, a fellow umpire showed me his brand-new Honig's plate pants, and I wore Honig's, +POS, or Fechheimer's ever since.
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  #51 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 10:22am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PWL
Nothing says "Smitty" more than pants that aren't properly fitted or off the rack from someplace like Pennys or Wal Mart.

BTW-A shirt that doesn't come from a uniform supplier just screams "Smitty" even louder.
What is "Smitty" ?
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  #52 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 10:34am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Ray
What is "Smitty" ?

These guys.









Tim.
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  #53 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 11:44am
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Hey, I resemble that remark!

or at least I did 25 years ago when I umpired Babe Ruth.
I have decided to bite the bullet and get a pair of umpire pants from POS or Gerry Davis. I was told by one local association that I could use Wal-Mart pants of the proper color for the bases. This was the one and only item where they made such an allowance.
My strategy will be to outfit myself with the state " varsity" style uniform used in VHSL, Virginia High School League. That way, even though I'm working Babe Ruth, the players, coaches and spectators may be fooled into thinking that I know what I'm doing

I will still use an outside chest protector b/c I think it's better protection and cooler in hot weather. Also, I like the beanie hat for some reason. I ordered one of the cheap West Vests mentioned in another thread and may use it if I advance to a level that requires an inside protector. I'm going to try to ease into this as much as possible. Working lower level games and using equipment that I feel comfortable with (the raft)
year one: Babe Ruth and rec league slow pitch
year two: maybe take the VHSL test and work Frosh/ JV ball
year three: think about that then if I haven't quit out of disgust like I did before

Ray
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  #54 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 12:23pm
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I would suggest that if you have any intentions of moving up to work higher levels of ball than the small diamond you leave the raft protector in the park equipment shed and use that new inside protector instead. I don't see why you'd want to have to re-learn how to work the plate when you do make the switch to the big diamond. I'm not sure if I know of a single official left in either association I belong to that still wears a beanie, so you may want to reconsider that as well.


Tim.
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  #55 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 12:29pm
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Beanie hats look really stupid. That's the #1 reason for not wearing them. Today's macho umpire wears a 6-stitch base hat along with his mask behind the dish.

Learn how to pull your mask off properly, and you won't need a beanie.
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  #56 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 02:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanDiegoSteve
Beanie hats look really stupid. That's the #1 reason for not wearing them. Today's macho umpire wears a 6-stitch base hat along with his mask behind the dish.

Learn how to pull your mask off properly, and you won't need a beanie.
I saw a movie the other day " Eight Men Out". The umps wore rafts and beanies. Also I looked through an old Baltimore Oriole 1969 year book. Guess what the umps were wearing. That's right, rafts and beanies. I like the traditional style alot. Are the umps today more macho than 1919 or 1969? Do I hear wool plate coats anyone? How about a Ballentine Ale?
I'm not trying to be difficult, just offering an alternative point of view.
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  #57 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 03:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Ray
I saw a movie the other day " Eight Men Out". The umps wore rafts and beanies. Also I looked through an old Baltimore Oriole 1969 year book. Guess what the umps were wearing. That's right, rafts and beanies. I like the traditional style alot. Are the umps today more macho than 1919 or 1969? Do I hear wool plate coats anyone? How about a Ballentine Ale?
I'm not trying to be difficult, just offering an alternative point of view.

It's not 1969. It's 2007. Feel free to express yourself any way you like when it comes to your equipment and attire. Just don't expect to move up the food chain very far while looking like you just stepped out of a time machine when you show up to work for an association.


Tim.
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  #58 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 03:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigUmp56
I would suggest that if you have any intentions of moving up to work higher levels of ball than the small diamond you leave the raft protector in the park equipment shed and use that new inside protector instead. I don't see why you'd want to have to re-learn how to work the plate when you do make the switch to the big diamond. I'm not sure if I know of a single official left in either association I belong to that still wears a beanie, so you may want to reconsider that as well.


Tim.
Tim,
I won't need to get into the park equipment shed, I already own a raft.
Why would I use a raft instead of an inside protector?
1) familiarity, I used it years ago. Learned how to move with it, swing it behind to write line-up changes , run to 3rd base etc. Using an inside protector would be where the re-learning occurs.
2) it's cooler during those hot summer days. Do I hear heat stroke anyone?
3) The #1 reason, better protection. The inside protector exposes hands, arms, upper leg, lower torso and groin. Will any association pay the bills if I miss work ?

I reserve the right to change my mind. That's partly why I bought the "cheap" West Vest. Both associations I contacted said it would be OK to use a raft. I would not be the lone ump doing it either, just in the minority. In my mind higher risk = higher reward. Money talks. Also, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Does an inside protector REALLY make you a better ump? My feeling is that I should be able to choose the level of protection with which I feel comfortable at any level below professional. MLB can dictate. They pay well and if you get hurt b/c of a foul ball I'm sure you still get paid your regular salary without repercussions from your "other employer" . YMMV

Ray pres./ IBSC
Itty Bitty Smitty Committee
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  #59 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 04:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigUmp56
It's not 1969. It's 2007. Feel free to express yourself any way you like when it comes to your equipment and attire. Just don't expect to move up the food chain very far while looking like you just stepped out of a time machine when you show up to work for an association.


Tim.
Not only is it not 1969, it's not 1919 either. That is when Eight Men Out was set, during the Black Sox Scandal. We don't typically drive cars these days with a surrey and a fringe, or models named A or T.
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  #60 (permalink)  
Old Mon Dec 25, 2006, 09:05pm
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what is a smitty?.........

In my estimation a smitty is not what he is when he starts out.....its what he becomes when he chooses to, or refuses to, improve adapt and change with the accepted norms of not only our association but umpiring in general .....

its a choice........and a label thats darn hard to shed once received.....
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