Under Armour, the Baltimore-based apparel company, has entered the ranks of professional baseball. The York Revolution will be the first pro team to wear Under Armour uniforms.

Once a small start-up company that specialized in high-performance workout gear, Under Armour has expanded in recent years -- designing uniforms for Division I college football programs and developing a line of footwear and running shoes.

Professional baseball uniforms seemed like a logical progression for the company.

"It's been a thought of ours for a period of time," Under Armour Senior Director of Sports Marketing Kevin Culley said.


"Because we've always made the stuff under the jersey, you could be sitting and watching a game. ... and you'd see players wearing our shirt. The only problem is you might not notice it because it was under the jersey."

York's 2009 uniforms have been designed specifically for baseball by Under Armour. During research and development of the product, Under Armour attempted to use high-end cooler, lighter fabric as well as the more traditional breathable polyester. So while the sleeves may consist of polyester, the entire back of the uniform is constructed with a mesh and breathable fabric -- designed to "dump heat and sweat," according to Culley.

The difference in fabric is not noticeable from as close as 5 feet away, but it becomes apparent when wearing or handling the product.

The Revs switched uniform providers in the offseason from Rawlings to Under Armour, in part because it liked the idea of having more feedback with its uniform provider.

Rawlings didn't necessarily care if players in York had an issue with the cut of a jersey. Under Armour can send a representative to start correcting problems in a matter of hours.

Culley, for instance, attended the Revs' morning workout Friday.

Under Armour has tweaked the look of York's uniform, with the biggest changes coming in the alternate and road jerseys. The red alternate jersey has been eliminated in favor of a navy blue jersey. And the road gray jersey no longer features the heavy side piping, replaced by Under Armour's more traditional thin piping near the shoulder area.

Under Armour also designed jerseys in a home white, batting practice brass, special event pink and armed forces camouflage. The team will not wear a York White Roses throwback jersey this season.

"I know we're the best-dressed team in the Atlantic League, and we might just be the best-dressed team in all of minor league baseball," Revs General Manager Matt O'Brien said.

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Leadoff opportunities: Don't be surprised if York manager Chris Hoiles calls for 3-foot-2 Dave Flood to hit in the first inning of today's scrimmage. Talking after practice, he explained he has thought of batting Flood leadoff.

Flood struck out in his professional baseball debut Thursday against Somerset. He's joined a growing group of players to criticize Atlantic League umpiring in recent years.

"They were playing country music between innings, and I think there may have been some subliminal messages," Flood said. "The umpire called one ball a strike, and he called two balls -- that I thought were way outside -- strikes. I mean I couldn't have hit them if I was standing on the plate."

Today's scrimmage: The Revs may use a 16-man batting order in today's scrimmage against town ball all-stars.

Hoiles hopes to see as many players as possible before having to cut his roster -- a move made even more difficult because of the rain that hit the area this week and the rainy forecast for next week.

It's not uncommon for managers to utilize a non-traditional lineup in spring training because Atlantic League teams cram a preseason camp into seven or eight days.

Former Orioles pitcher Rick Bauer is scheduled to start for York.
jseip@ydr.com; 771-2025