Umpire Cap Sizes and Mask Removal Tricks!Jul 30th, 2013
Picking the right Umpire cap - 4, 6 or 8 stitch and mastering removal of your masks are key to looking the part and building confidence as an Umpire. We asked our Facebook followers for their pointers on what cap to choose and how to seamlessly remove their masks.
Here are their tips and tricks:
Robert Dertz - I wear a 6 stitch for both plate and bases. I have umpire plate hats and base hats as well. My plate hats are 1 size smaller and are pretty tight. I am with everyone else as far as out then up. Yes you need to practice if you are rookie. Most importantly use your left hand.
Doug Burdin - 4 Stitch flex fit. Stays nice and snug.Terry Granillo - 8 stitch with the standard umpire mask. Whatever fits for low-profile.Randy Huffman - 6 inch ... pull mask off left hand and buy a chin guard
Clint Sherbet - 6 ... Out and up with left hand, practice, practice, practice
Glenn Deppert - I second Clint's advice - practice, practice, practice. You look VERY unprofessional trying to make a call with your hat falling off.
Ross Herda - No more than six. Keep straps loose and stretch em when new. Practice taking it off.
Scott Ingalls - I prefer a 4 stitch but I usually remove my mask with the right hand and switch it to my left. I have small hands and when I use my left to take it off the indicator usually gets in the way.
Roger Boyington - 6 Stitch with no problems. Grab the mask with the thumb and index fingers and pull it out and up. The secret is to have a hat that is a little tight and a mask that is loose. As with all things, practice makes you proficient.
Michael Taylor - I use a six or eight seam on both. As far as getting my mask off, I hold my indicator with my three fingers, grab my mask on the lower left corner with my thumb and first finger - out and up.
Don Watt - Converted from 4S to 6S. Holding indicator in my left hand (ring and pinky hold) I grab my mask on the left side just above the chin cushion. I quick wrist flip out and up. Mirror practice new guys. Look sharp! Feel sharp! Be sharp!
Michael Harman - Four Stitch .... and fold the band in the back over helps with left hand removal.
Dave Davis - I feel so old school... I'm a beanie wearer. Love the 2 stitch but have worked with a 4 stitch. Left hand always, out and up. Give me an 8 stitcher for the bases
Bil Allan - 6 Stitch on the bases and an All-Star helmet. I tried the 2 stitch just for the sun burn protection on my thinning hairline (AKA balding!) but the hat felt strange.
Hats off to all of you who contributed your advice and suggestions! Have a comment that you didn't see here? Let us know!
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About the Author
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. 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, a “Best Places to Work in Louisville” honor in 2020 & 2021 and a National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Preferred Vendor. He maintained a long-standing relationship with Minor League Baseball Umpire Development & Training Academy for 10 years. 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.