Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Matching Polo Blue Shirts

Before I begin this article, I want to say that I agree that it is important that you and your partner wear matching uniforms. However, there are degrees of matching, from partners that wear identical shirts from the same manufacturer, to those items that "match pretty close." For instance, not all umpire pants match, although some manufacturer color hues match better than others.

The subject of polo blue shirt color has been discussed on several umpire forum sites. The argument is that the various umpire shirt manufacturers produce polo blue shirts in different hues, some matching better than others.

At left are four shirts (from front to back) from Majestic, Honigs, The Official’s Choice and Ump-Attire. Although the flash photograph and the color adjustment on your monitor makes it less obvious, the Majestic shirt is a brighter, bluer color than any of the other shirts. Click the photo at left to enlarge the picture. The shirt from the Official’s Choice is the darkest shade, possibly owing to the open hole design. The shirts from Ump-Attire and Honig’s are in between the Majestic and The Official’s Choice shirts in hue and shade. This is also apparent by examining the blue stripe in the collars.

The collars and cuffs do not match. The Ump-Attire shirt has a very thin white stripe that is hardly noticeable. The Majestic shirt has wider black stripes that more closely match the Ump-Attire’s black stripes. The shirt from The Official’s Choice has thicker white stripes. The Honig’s shirt is somewhere in the middle of all of these.

Fair or Foul?
If you and your partner walk out onto the field wearing polo blue shirts from Majestic and The Official’s Choice, coaches and spectators will see from a distance that you obviously do not match. Any other color combination will be a closer match, and, in my opinion, the Honig’s and Ump-Attire shirts most closely match in color, although the sleeves do not match.

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