Sunday, July 26, 2009

Review of Majestic MLB Umpire Shirt

You know that proverb: "The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?" Well, as a gear junky I had been coveting a Majestic MLB Umpire Shirt for some time. You know, "Wear what the pros wear."

I obtained a Majestic MLB polo blue shirt in April and I have tested it over about a 100 days period. It has seen extreme conditions: 100 degree heat, extreme sun, wind, rain, heavy sweat. . . you know, the usual. It has been worn probably 30-40 days (sometimes up to 8 hours at a time).

At the time of this article I only know of one retailer that sells the Majestic MLB Umpire Shirt: The folks at Ump-Attire are first-rate and offer lightning fast delivery, fair prices, and owner Jim Kirk really does care about the customer's needs and opinion. The Majestic is offered for $34.95 plus shipping. That puts the Majestic at the extreme high end of the umpire shirt market. Compare that price to the top three shirts in my Spring 2009 shirt review:

#1 - Ultimate Umpire Shirt by Ump-Attire, $32.95
#2 - Smitty Pro Knit Mesh Umpire Shirts, $22.95
#3 - Signature Series Umpire Shirts by Gerry Davis, $25.90

The Majestic looks great right out of the box. It is a closed hole polyester mesh design with a cotton collar. It fits well, breathes as well as any closed-hole mesh shirt, and accomodates my Wilson Platinum protector easily.

During the ball season I am what would best be described as a "working umpire." My day job offers a lot of flexibility, so I am able to work late afternoon weekday games and, of course, evenings and weekends. Consequently, I do laundry in the evening for a quick turn-around for the next day's games. Laundry is done the same way every time - cold water, permanent press cycle, and permanent press dryer on medium heat.

Unfortunately, the Majestic MLB Umpire Shirt requires line drying. The effect of drying this shirt in my dryer has been a pilling, wear and fading of the Majestic collar. No other shirt I own has had this problem (or required line drying). Below are pictures of the Ultimate Umpire Shirt (which has seen about the same number of games and laundry cycles as the Majestic), and an old Honig's (that has been worn in easily three times the number of games and laundry cycles). As you can see, little or no pilling, wear or fading.

In summary, I am disappointed with the Majestic. The shirt is no better than any other closed hole mesh umpire shirt, and requires special care. The MLB guys can keep this one. My side of the fence has better shirts.


Anonymous said...

Question - I have some older Honig's shirts (about 4-5 years old) and the collars that pilled like this. They were made of cotton and not the new updated material that is shown on the collar of the powder blue Honig's shirt in the picture (I think its a polyester but Im not sure). Anyway, is the Majestic collar the cotton material like my old Honig's shirts?

Pete Reiser said...

The Honig's shirt pictured was purchased on-line in 2008. The Majestic with the cotton collar was purchased in 2009. I understand that Honig's had the same type cotton collar as the Majestic, but changed collars during the past few years.

Anonymous said...

I line dry all of my umpire shirts, including my Majestic. The collar faded and pilled anyway. Due to this, I was only able to get 1 season out of this shirt. Now I have it for a back up, or for a partner that doesn't have a polo blue. The material used in the body is great, but the collar material has to go!

Jim Kirk said...

Thanks for your nice comments about us and our ultimate umpire shirts and, in general, your reviews of products, especially the shirts.

I have made the General Manager of Team Sports at Majestic who oversees this product aware of your article.

Jim Kirk