Thursday, October 28, 2010

Equipment Worn By Some MLB Umpires

Today I'm going to try my hand at identifying a few masks and helmets used by Major League umpires.

That's Ed Hickox sporting the stylish new All-Star MVP4000UMPTI with titanium cage All-Star MVP4000 helmet with a MVP2500 steel cage during a Yankees / Blue Jays game on 9/24/10. I understand that Hickox has reinforced this helmet with additional padding. Brad Jurga from All-Star tells me that Hickox likes the idea that the steel cage bends to absorb energy rather than a less flexible titanium which must transfer energy from a ball impact.

Hickox wears a hat under his helmet as seen in this photo:

Gotta look good when you're gonna be on SportsCenter.

Here's Jim Joyce mugging for the camera during a 2010 game. Joyce is wearing a Wilson WTA3007T titanium mask. This mask is a standard view, not low-profile design. Notice Joyce is calling without a throat guard.

Laz Diaz helps the Cubs' Alphonso Soriano find his way on April 26, 2009. Diaz looks like an "Angel of Mercy" in his All-Star FM25TI titanium mask. Again, no throat guard. (Diaz and Joyce should read this article. In the 1970's a Peurto Rican catcher was struck in the throat by a foul ball and died).

Gary Cederstrom is profiling a Wilson WTA5590 Shock FX 2.0 umpire helmet with a titanium cage.

Cederstrom is demonstrating that once you have a MLB contract, you can wear your helmet on your head in a colorful manner. He is obviously applying the wisdom given to us by Crash Davis:

Joe West owns several umpire equipment patents. West is actively involved with research and development of umpire gear. So what does Mr. West trust to protect his West Vest gray matter? Surprise, that's not a titanium! Its a Wilson West Vest A3009 hollow core steel mask with soft amara suede pads.

Kinda makes you stop and think for a minute, huh?


Anonymous said...

The MVP4000 that Hickox is wearing is the SL model rather than the titanium.

Jim Kirk said...

Pete, enjoyed reading your article. Like you, I have noticed many major league umpires surprisingly not wearing throat guards. Thanks for calling that out.
Jim Kirk