My Neck is Too Big (or Too Small) for My Chest ProtectorJun 6th, 2013
One of the complaints you hear from guys is “My chest protector fits too snug around my neck”. I don’t hear the opposite of that which is “My chest protector is too loose”. However, I do see it.
Much talk is given to the length of the umpire chest protector (neck to bottom) but not much to the overall size of the neck area. So I’m going to fill that void.
The skinny is that guys with big necks or big frames are going to have more umpire chest protectors that feel tighter than loose. And smaller guys are going to have the opposite. With a CP that’s too snug, it can be uncomfortable. But for one that’s too loose, there is a bigger problem. It could result in a gap in collar bone protection.
So if you’re an average to smaller umpire, listen up or bulk up.
Let’s take the Wilson Gold and Platinum chest protectors, designed by MLB umpire Joe West. The Gold was designed to have less room in the neck area whereas the Platinum was designed to have more. There is certainly no standard neck size for umpire chest protectors.
Take a look at the couple of images where small frame and neck guys are wearing the Platinum. Too loose right? These need to be either tightened to the max, a higher end-harness is needed that will allow these guys to wear them even tighter or a different chest protector is needed. (In these cases, they were tightened all the way. If you love your Platinum but the neck coverage isn't right, try a different harness.)
The moral of this story is that just as you try on your shoes to make sure they’re not too big or too small, do the same thing with your umpire chest protector. And don’t forget the neck area is just as important as its length.
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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.