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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 10:57am
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Baseball chest protector

I'm in the market to get a new chest protector. What I now have doesn't give me enough protection around the top of the shoulders. Any good recommendations? Also, when I watch MLB games, I notice that the umpires protectors don't look bulky. Are their's custom made by chance? Looking for something similar that doesn't make me look like I'm suiting up for a football game. I've looked at the Wilson West Vest Platinum Protector, but they look like football shoulder pads. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 11:11am
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There's a few guys who may wear a custom made cp, but most are off the rack. The majority wear the West Vest gold or the Riddel Power (no longer availible). The platinum is a bit more bulky, but I'll take that tradeoff for it's protection. Remember, most new chest protectors will feel stiff and bulky until they loosen up and mold to your body. I know my platinum felt like a refridgerator box for the first couple of weeks. Now it's like a second layer of skin.
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 11:12am
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Cool

donj,

You might want to take a look at the Honig's K-1. I have used it up through HS Varsity and "college age" (not NCAA) games and find the protection more than adequate. I can't imagine a "less bulky" CP that would provide adequate protection.

JM
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 11:14am
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If your stance is more upright, use the West Vest Platinum. If you lean in a bit, you might prefer the West Vest Gold. I would not use anything less for HS varsity or above.

Some MLB guys have custom CP's, but many don't. Some are really big guys, so their CP's don't look very bulky. I think it has more to do with your size than the CP.

I have the Gold, and it looks bulky on me.
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 11:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmpJM (nee CoachJM)
donj,

You might want to take a look at the Honig's K-1. I have used it up through HS Varsity and "college age" (not NCAA) games and find the protection more than adequate. I can't imagine a "less bulky" CP that would provide adequate protection.

JM
I have the K-1, which I use in very hot weather in lower-level games. Anecdotal evidence is that the protection is inferior (reports of busted ribs, etc.).
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 11:31am
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I use a Platinum and love it. Wasn't to thrilled with the somewhat massive shoulder pads at first. After seeing this discussed on another forum, I took the suggestion of one poster and simply removed the pads.

The pads in the protector attach to a hard plastic up with a simple velcro strap. The hard cup is still there and covers the outer edge of your shoulder. The outer tip of your collar bone and the rotator cuff area are enclosed by the cup.

The protection, for me, still seems adequate. It definitely looks and feels more sleek, and is less restrictive to my arm movements. If you change your mind, it takes about two seconds to pop the pads back in.
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 11:50am
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Well,

Jon Bible wore the K-1 even umpiring the College World Series and had no complaints.

I will, however, stick by my Carlucci.

Regards,
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 12:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim C
Jon Bible wore the K-1 even umpiring the College World Series and had no complaints.

I will, however, stick by my Carlucci.

Regards,
Another K-1 user here. Yes, I will feel 1-2 shots a year. It's worth the tradeoff.
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 02:02pm
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i used the K-1 my entire professional career, and continue to use it today. i've been hit with the fastest of the fast and it has always done it's job.
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 02:55pm
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my .02

I have a K1 I wear for anything sub-varsity...and a WV platinum for everything above.......I have taken shots wearing them both,and it may just be a confidence factor, but I dont feel comfortable doing "big boy" ball without a hard shell....
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 04:19pm
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West Vest

I also have taken out the shoulder pads under the hard shell. Have taken shots there with zero impact. I also love the collar bone protection if adjusted properly.
My 2 cents.

Good luck
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 05:20pm
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Let's face it, everything is a compromise to usability, comfort and fashion. We'd all be using the raft if we wanted total protection.

I start rookies out using the raft, until they get used balls fly at them. Perhaps this might be the way to go. If you have a local "Play it again Sports" store near you, they might have one for cheap.
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 06:50pm
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I too have used the K1 for a few years now. I generally had no complaints about it until i took a hard shot in a Varsity game in the sternum. It rocked me backwards and darn near knocked me off my feet. I was out of breath and in pain for several minutes.

I happened to see on this forum that there were some original WV's on sale for $39.99, and I said, 'what the hey', and I bought one. I have never used the K1 for Varsity or above since, and I have taken a few shots with the WV and they just bounce off.

Don't get me wrong, the K1 is a fine protector, and I still use it for youth up to Freshman HS ball. I just feel more comfortable and confident with the protection the WV gives me.

As far as the K1 being light, that is true. I find the WV is not that much more heavier, and the extra protection that I perceive it gives me is an adequate trade off, IMHO.
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Last edited by RPatrino; Wed Sep 10, 2008 at 07:01pm.
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 07:41pm
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Carlucci

Where can you buy the Carlucci protector?
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Old Wed Sep 10, 2008, 07:43pm
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I don't buy chest protectors for "how they look" - I buy them for how they protect me. I wore a ribbed REACH from the time I got out of umpire school in 1985 until about 1992, when I started working a lot of D1 games. Then I went to the Wilson knock-off West Vest. I've been wearing it ever since, taken many shots off of it and have never had ANY problems.
Now, ask me how my shoes look...

JJ
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