Keep Your Umpire Indicator Letters from Fading

Jul 11th, 2016

Bob Frank, an umpire from Scottsdale, Arizona offered a great tip to preserve the letters on umpire indicators that make up the "Strike", "Balls" and "Outs" (and "Innings" on a 4-dial) from rubbing off.

"...Before I even used it in the field, I took some clear nail polish and covered the lettering (staying away from the wheel axes) to keep it from rubbing off. This seems to have done the trick and should help maintain the lettering longer than without the 'coating'."

Excessive wear can be an issue more so on black plastc indicators with silver or white painted letters (see the A3041, A3042 an A048P).

Metal indicators where the letters are simply raised and match the metal background in color (see All-Star Steel) do not have this concern.

Clear nail polish can also be used to repair nicks on patent leather belts.

Thanks Bob. Photo of him below.

Umpire looks on as batter hits ball

What other tips do you have for maintaining the longevity of your umpire gear?

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About the Author

Picture of Jim Kirk

President Jim Kirk

Jim is a leading expert, educator and author on umpire gear, safety & appearance. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire during the Elbeco shirt years. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought Ump-Attire.com in 2006, He eventually led it to the leading umpire gear & attire retailer worldwide and a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020. He maintains long-standing relationships with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy and the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO). He serves as an adviser to UMPS CARE Charities, the charity of MLB umpires, served as a 2-term board of director from 2012-2018, and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient. A supporter since the inception of the Wounded Warrior Umpire Academy, he was named to their Board of Directors in 2020.

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