BC-BBO--Keeping Umps Cool,126
Cooling technology helping umps handle the heat
AP Photo OHAB202, OHAB201
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By JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — Those summer scorchers don't make plate umpires melt down anymore.
Cooling technology that's been used by the military for years is now helping the umps get through those days when the temperatures soar well above 90 and the humidity makes handling the plate a very sweaty job. They can wear vests with cooling packs or tuck one of the packs under their chest protector.
Umps were a little skeptical of the equipment at first, but have quickly taken a liking to it. Some say it makes the temperature feel 20 degrees cooler for them.
It's a vast improvement from the days of broiling games when umpires got so dehydrated their fingers would wrinkle and did all they could to stay on the field for nine innings.