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Brendan gears up for a game.
Brendan gears up for a game
Work safe at the plate

Wear hard-soled shoes

If you try to get by with sneakers behind the plate it won't be too long before you realize this is a mistake.

The younger the ball club, the more likely it is that there will be many passed balls or wild pitches. Many times the catcher is inexperienced.   

As plate umpire, you find that your toes are often the recipient of these pitches. You find yourself dancing around--no concentration on the pitch.

Safety and comfort

Always, the plate umpire needs a comfort zone in the cage. This means, wear hard-soled shoes. You want to work safe.

Plate umpire safety--first purchases
  • Light helmet.
  • Chest protector (West Vest platinum, for e.g.)
  • Shin guards.
  • Steel-toed/hard soled shoes.
  • Protective cup.
Comfort Zone-work smarter, not harder
  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Sip water between innings.
  • Keep the game moving.

Comfort Zone for Veteran Umpires
Because there is a lot of bending and stretching, consider:

  • Ankle wraps
  • Knee straps
  • Lumbar back support
  • Injury prevention and protection gets you through the day.
  • Gets you through the 100-game season.

First mechanic taught by the Jim Evans Umpire Academy? Strip mask with left hand only.

  • Like all mechanics, practice until you feel comfortable.
  • Becomes automatic in a short time.
  •  Right hand is free to throw the hammer.
  •  Essential on the close play at the plate.

Websites for gearing up 


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15% of proceeds from the book go to the Boys and Girls Club and the MLB Community's RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner City) program.

Content copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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