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 has had a passion for sports since he can remember. After playing baseball at Centre College, he worked as a high school umpire in Kentucky - during the Elbeco shirt years. He became involved in E-Commerce while working on an MBA in the early 2000s and bought in 2006. Jim is proud of's success, staff and sponsorship of various groups including Minor League Baseball Umpires, Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy and UMPS CARE, the charity of MLB umpires. He served on their board of directors and was named their 2015 Ambassador Award recipient.


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