Tag Archives: Equipment

UmpTalk #19: Cleaner Umpiring With Jolie Kerr – Cleaning Umpire Equipment

Umpires are many things… we are judges, athletes, babysitters… but we are NOT clean. And don’t try to deny it. I’ve worked with enough of you to know that your gear is foul smelling and I don’t know the last time you’ve washed your socks.

Well, this episode of the podcast is dedicated to those of you whose equipment stays in your equipment bag throughout the summer while those little bacteria grow and smell starts to set in. Today, we talk about cleaning umpire equipment.

jolie-kerr-photo-copy-300x300Today, we end the smelly umpire. Today we talk with Jolie Kerr, columnist for Jezebel.com and Deadspin.com. She writes a column called “Ask A Clean Person” and she’s here to help our profession smell better. Seriously.

Jolie got her start as being the cleanest person she knew. She turned that into a writing career and now handles questions from the public that include how to clean up urine stains from carpets to cleaning blood off of a million items.  She has a new book out called “My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag… And Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha.”

HOME_BarfedinHandbag_0226-614x944She took some time out of her writing to talk with UmpTalk.com about how to properly allow equipment to dry between games, clean it periodically and avoid nasty staph infections from the crap growing in our equipment.

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Drying Racks for your gear after ballgames

Tips for cleaning with white vinegar

Jolie’s Column: “Ask A Clean Person

UmpTalk #16: “Must” Stuff You Need In Your Umpire Equipment Bag

This won’t be the sexiest podcast, but someday, it might just save you.  This episode is a list of hard-learned lessons about the right items you need to have in your umpire equipment bag.

Fill this bag with all the right umpire equipment this season.

They were learned the hard way – by not having these things and needing them.

First, let’s define “umpire bag” because umpires usually have a bag for gear that they change out of, drag to the dressing room and they also have a secondary bag (for me, it’s a tupperware bin) with a lot of these other items. Both of these bags are extremely important and should be stocked and checked regularly.

Thanks to many of the our Facebook followers for helping us complete this list!

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If we’ve missed anything, please let us know in the comments so we can help future umpires make sure they’re well prepared!!

**Items in ALL CAPS are SHOW STOPPERS!! Try umpiring without these.

  1. Shoe cleaning kit and equipment. (We’re going to have a whole show about shoe and equipment cleaning coming up soon!) But at minimum you should have two dish towels, a shoe brush and a bag to put your shoes in (in case they’re muddy)
  2. Sunflower Seeds / Gum / Power Bar (check with your location to see if seeds are allowed. They are less and less nowadays)
  3. Sunglasses/Sunglasses Case/Eyeglasses cleaner
  4. Extras!!!!!!!
    1. Indicator
    2. Pair of Socks
    3. EXTRA BELT!!
    4. Plate Brush
    5. Ballbags (different colors also)
  5. Bugspray (if keeping in your bag, put it in a ziploc bag in case of leakage)
  6. Febreeze (ziploc also!)
  7. Extra medication / Ben Gay / IBUPROFEN (totally different ziploc bag)
  9. Pens/Pencil/Lineup Card Protector
  10. Padlock
  11. Toiletry bag with baby wipes, deodorant
  12. Rubbing Mud
  13. Sunscreen
  14. Athletic Tape / Small First Aid Kit
  15. Small notepad or journal
  16. Chapstick
  17. Gold Bond (you know who you are)
  18. Small Sewing Kit
  19. And finally, and we think this was made in jest – but then again maybe not – pepper spray!

What did we miss? Sound off in the comments or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Thanks again for listening!!

Oh, and here’s how to sew on a button:

UmpTalk #5: Nine Cold Weather Umpiring Tips

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It’s cold outside! Due to climate and the way high school and college schedules fall, baseball starts earlier and earlier. Since many of us cannot travel to warmer climates like Texas, the SouthWest or Florida to umpire in the late winter and early spring, we have to get games where we can.  And that means games starting in early to mid-February or stretching the season into October and November.

(A full set of links to cold weather gear can be found at umptalk.com/cold)

Sometimes, those fields are frozen. Sometimes there’s snow and other precipitation falling. And it’s important to make sure you prepare.  Here are nine tips for umpiring games in cold weather. Bundle up!!

  1. Check with AD or Head Coach on what temperature a game will be cancelled at and call ahead. Sometimes a field will clear and games will be played – especially when teams are traveling.
  2. Dress in layers
  3. Jackets
    • You can look like a boss and wear a plate coat – but since nobody wears plate coats anymore…
    • Layers is the key here. Not sensible to buy a winter umpire jacket unless you really need it, so you can buy a nice ump jacket a size up and then wear a sweatshirt underneath it. Trick is that you need to fit it all in your pants so don’t wear anything too bulky. Multiple thin layers is key.
  4. Functional gloves (not heavy snow shoveling gloves, but not super thin gloves)
    • Important to find those without logos, but that also have some tack. Some have recommended football receivers gloves, but I don’t like mine with any logos
  5. Wraparound head mask, thin, that will fit under a ballcap
    • These are super nice for the coldest games. It’s so important to trap that heat that’s released from your head. This covers your ears and your head and also neck. Plus it’s thin enough to use under your base had
  6. Hand warmers
    • Watch putting hands in pockets, but it’s clearly allowable when the weather is cold
  7. Tights – heavy ones
    • Don’t wear long johns – they soak up moisture, find a under-armor style – better yet, they now have some cold-weather spandex style pants – bonus points if you can find one made for an athletic cup
  8. Socks – if you can get it done, 2 pairs of socks, but they need to be comfortable
    • Stay moving.  don’t fall into trap of just being stationary. Get out there and move around a bit.

Things not to wear (since I’ve seen it) – Scarves, Logo’d jackets and warmup pullovers, tooks and stocking caps, wear your game cap on the field.  Full on hunters orange overalls.

Think warm and take heart… it’ll be spring soon!!

UmpTalk #3: Five Umpiring Nevers

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Sweet Lou getting in the grill of an umpire. Maybe he failed an umpiring never?
Sweet Lou getting in the grill of an umpire. Maybe he failed an umpiring never?

Umpiring is all about getting in position, doing the right thing, making the right call – but there are certain “Nevers” in umpiring that are important to learn as well.  This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but a great start to further conversation.

Podcast 3 Show Notes: Continue reading UmpTalk #3: Five Umpiring Nevers

UmpTalk #1: Eight Tips for new umpires

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Welcome to the field of umpiring. New UmpiresSo, you’ve been drafted out of the stands to be an umpire, or you are looking to step on the field for the first time as a part-time gig.  Welcome to Umpiring!!

We’re going to have lots of advice for you on this website, but first, we need to ease you in slowly.  Here are 8 tips that all new umpires must know.

Podcast 1 Show Notes

Continue reading UmpTalk #1: Eight Tips for new umpires