|Lobby of Wilson headquarters in Chicago.|
Despite the fact that Wilson's umpire gear offerings have stayed about the same the last few years, I was impressed with the current product development plans shared by Jacqueline Rooney, product manager and Bill Woessner, R&D.
Without offering complete details, one of the areas they are looking at diligently is protective gear that will make umpires safer, especially as it relates to head trauma, than products on the market today.
In the last 3 or 4 years, trends in umpiring equipment have been related to lighter weights and lower profiles, so I'm pleased that Wilson is looking toward next step protective technologies and talking to leading experts in the field all while listening to us and our customers.
Indeed, some of our Facebook fans/umpires shared comments, ideas and questions via a recent August 10th post and those were well-received. Many of you will be happy to see changes that you have discussed already being implemented and desired new items available in the near-term.
Changes being implemented for 2012 include:
- Removable toe plates on all A3417 Charcoal Shin Guards
- Replacement mask padding designs have been re-tooled and will fit your Wilson mask frame more closely.
- Better adhesive formula changes to Shock FX helmet inner padding (actually implemented in the fall of 2010)
You'll also find these two new items:
- A matte black Shock FX helmet that will be available with a steel frame
- A Wilson Gold and/or Platinum Chest Protector that will be available in a longer size option. See recent post.