Keep Your Umpire Indicator Letters from FadingJul 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.
What other tips do you have for maintaining the longevity of your umpire gear?
About the Author
President Jim Kirk
Jim has a heart for sports officials and is a leading expert on umpire gear, safety and apparel. 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. Jim is proud of Ump-Attire.com's success, staff and support for multiple groups including Minor League Baseball Umpires, Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy, the Wounded Warriors Umpire Academy and UMPS CARE, the charity of MLB umpires. He served on the UMPS CARE board of directors and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient.