Sunday, November 7, 2010

What the MLB Umpires Wear

The Battle Royale: Helment vs. Mask

I recently did an unofficial count of what the Major League umpires are wearing as head protection on the field. I used the MLB Umpire Roster, which includes 88 names of umpires with Major League contracts and AAA call-up umpires, and searched Google for photographs of these umpires working the plate during 2010. For some umpires, determining whether they use a mask or helmet was easy. For instance Gary Cederstrom and CB Bucknor (pictured, left) are two umpires that are well known to prefer the helmet. For others, it was more difficult to determine their protection preference and I make no claims about the accuracy of this count.

The results are:
MLB Umpires wearing hockey style helmets: 11

MLB Umpires wearing traditional masks: 77

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