Just received a request from a customer asking to supply my nominations for top items of the year for the Umpy Awards that the Midwest Blog does.
Last year, I wrote a post on suggested nominations. This year maybe I just provide my favorite suggestions strictly from my perspective.
Anything in All-Star umpire gear from the helmet on down to the shin guards. Those of you who know me know I'm a huge Wilson supporter, and I know Jacquie Rooney, product manager of Wilson will read this (Hi Jacquie) so I mention this with a little bit of heavy heart. Wilson has plans in the future, likely late 2012 or 2013, that may just change all of this, but right now the All-Star items have a lot of nice features we and you have not seen before.
There are those that love New Balance and those that love Reebok, and this year we definitely have had more Reebok lovers which makes sense over the older New Balance plate shoes. With the new New Balance shoes coming up, I'm very curious to see the thoughts on the new plate shoes. But on the new base shoes, I just think they are going to be a run away best seller because of the lighter weight and newer looks that will have an option with a silver N and white sole, not to mention new MLB logos.
The Majestic ThermaBase Umpire Jacket (no contest) which when we add the special order exclusive with black and white stripes that will make it more so.
We have to continue to go with Ump-Attire Ultimate Shirts, soon with now anti-microbial treatment in black, navy and powder. Then again, the Dalco pink shirt was just so very popular this year, and the response there was both great and nice.
Best Umpire Pants
Honig's hit a home run with their poly-wools, so much that we had to try to come up with something to compete there. We have a Made in the USA Ump-Attire product coming with a poly-wool fabric but with new features including an expandable waistband.
To each his own here. Could be anything there from the Rite-Temp products that we are still considering adding but have our questions, the Stay in the Game sweatband for Prostate Cancer Awareness just because of its intention to make a difference. Perhaps it could be the Team Wendy's pads that I do see people wearing, but I have not seen the technology or the anecdotal evidence from those who use it yet.
What am I missing?