There are plenty of things that I like about the All Star Series 7 2500 umpire mask. I raved about it in this post over on ump-emp. I did however, discover something new yesterday – it doesn’t protect me from getting hit with the baseball.
I bought the helmet with the idea that I would wear it on fields with tight backstops to protect against rebounding balls. I had been hit once last year, and thought that the HSM would do the job. I researched and found that the All Star Series 7 seemed to be the preferred choice, and I bought the lower end 2500 model. Here’s what All Star says about the mask: The System Seven™ MVP2500 series of masks are recommended for college though youth.
My regular rig is a Diamond frame with Team Wendy pads, and I have never felt the impact from a face shot. I’ve been hit square-on plenty of times, and my mask just spins and disperses the impact like its supposed to.
Yesterday I wore the helmet for a Little League game in Livingston. I was working with my good friend and favorite partner, Gary Herman. There was a just-average pitcher and a batter with a slow-ish swing, and I took a foul ball to the top of the front of the mask. Not a hard shot at all, but it hurt. I felt like the impact pushed the top of the helmet back, which caused the back plate to push into my neck and really rattled me. I switched out between innings, and listed the helmet for sale on umpire-empire.
But I don’t recommend that you buy it.