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I did not buy the charcoal pants last year because most of the guys I worked with still had their heather. Now I'm gonna get 'em. Plate and bases. I've heard Gerry Davis is the best - from 2 guys. I also broke my lightweight mask last game of season; and was thinking of a hockey mask. The guys I talked to said you will never regret owning a hockey style; but my cynicism says it's like a car purchase ... you'll never get anyone to say "Yeah - I HATE my Ford". Could hockey guys please be objective and tell me what you think? I know that a traditional mask with cap keeps some sweat outta your face in the summer. Is a hockey warmer? Sweat more? How do you retain it? I wear a slight prescription sun glasses - does anyone wear eyewear under a hockey? I'm slightly favoring the traditional mask. If I go that route - what's the favorite?
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I have worn the hockey mask for the past two seasons. I have a completly bald shaved head and I do sweat especially on hot days! I always bring a very small wet towel with me to games and wipe my head between innings. I also sweat a lot when I do cardio running an use a towel then also, so no difference...if I had hair I believe I would not sweat as much. I wore Rx transition lense glasses the first year and now have a pair or wrap around Rx sunglasses I bought from Pearl. The first year I popped my glasses off and onto the field ONE time since then NEVER! No problem getting the mask on or off and not one coach has mentioned anything about the mask or glasses during the regular season or state playoffs.
Got mine five years ago, found it to be quite comfortable and the vision is far better IMO. Loved it, still do, but mid day sun, to hot for me and would switch to my standard mask. But cool day, even over cast or night games, hockey style all the way.
I wear prescription glasses and I've nver had a problem removing the mask, and refused as some swear by "just leave it on, you don't need to take it off". Only problem I found with it besides the beating son, holding the dang thing while making line-up changes, it's tough to hold under the arm. The newer models are now cooler with better airflow.
I threw out all my heather pants except for one pair of base and plate... I have been fully stocked with the charcoal pants...I only keep my 2 pairs of heather for the occasional HS game where the partner has not converted...

Charcoal has been the accepted color for the College association and pretty universally implemented....

The Honig's poly wool and the Davis pants are very good.... you cant go wrong with them....

As to masks....I am a traditional mask guy, but many of my umpires wear the HSM. It can be a bit awkward to handle when having to attend to our clerical duties....In times when the mask is off to make lineup changes, we teach the user to insert his hand into the mask and basically use the mask side as a desk to support the lineup card....
Originally posted by dave0mary:I'm slightly favoring the traditional mask. If I go that route - what's the favorite?

I have the Diamond lightweight and love it. However, the pads are useless. I swapped them out for the Wilson doeskin pads. I tried the Wilson wraparounds but they didn't fit the mask well and restricted visibility down and to the side.

Also, I once wore an 8-stitch base hat by mistake. I thought my hat would come flying off every time I removed the mask but that was not the case at all. No more 4-stitch "combo" hats for me!
While logic seemingly would indicate that the hockey masks are safer, they have not proven to be so at the ML level.

Every ML umpire wearing a hockey style mask last year suffered a concussion. Granted the time frame is too short and the sampling too small for this to be scientifically significant.

No doubt the same blows would have resulted in a concussion with a traditional mask as well. However the failure of the "shock system" on the hockey style mask to perform better than a traditional mask is, to me, interesting.

Here's a particularly violent example.

Kerwin Danley

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