I am happy to report the Smitty Charcoal Grey Umpire Pants are back in stock in most sizes and styles, including Combo.
In the Fall of 2008, I developed a memo and shared it with my staff on all the new trends expected for the 2009 baseball/softball season. So on it where things like silver and titanium umpire masks, charcoal grey umpire pants and 4 or 5 additional things. It wasn't rocket science. I'm sure many of you could have written such a memo being aware of at least a few of these from the top of your head.
But after giving them time to digest it, I also met with them on the subject as I wanted to make it clear to them that we fully gear ourselves for these trends in all facets of our business from marketing to purchasing to stocking. We certainly didn't want to miss out on these very important trends, and the upcoming year there just seemed to be more things brewing than usual.
How did we do? Well, mostly great, except the trend toward charcoal grey umpire pants was much stronger than we had expected. I mean we bought a boatload of charcoal grey pants; don't get me wrong. But we still ran out of some key sizes of the very popular Smitty Charcoal Grey Umpire Pants, especially the combo pants, around mid-May... and so did Smitty.
(I find that I am gritting my teeth as I type this as anyone who knows me well in this business knows that I don't like to run out of anything, especially key products, anytime during season.)
I honestly think part of the problem was that the new Smitty pants were very good and very well-received. If you read any review on our website or discussion about them on one of the discussion boards, this is obvious from umpires at all levels. Combine that with the fact that most umpires demand a high quality product but at the same time in this economy are looking for it a great price as well. And what you have is a high demand for the Smtty brand that offered an excellent alternative to competing, more expensive brands. So there... another good problem to have I suppose.
Well, anyway, they're back in and should be available for the fall as well. Order away if you need a pair or two.