On Friday, July 26, Ripken, along with Adam Clement—Under Armour’s creative director, team sports—and Barry Hewitt—product line manager, footwear-athlete services—were kind enough to give Bleacher Report a preview of the next generation in baseball apparel—the “Future Legends” uniform.
Made exclusively for the All-America Baseball Game, the “Future Legends” uniform aspired to be a fusion of classic “Chicago Cubs uniforms from the 1930’s” and the most advanced technology in baseball gear.
Clement said that the goal was to be “progressive” and “forward thinking” with their new pant and jersey.
Some of the features include four-way stretch mesh underarms for increased mobility, ventilated mesh back panels, faux-buttoned jerseys to decrease bulk and increase comfort, two-ply knees and a slide zone on the back panel for durability and protection.
Oh, they finished it all off with what Ripken described as “back to the 1930’s piping” and vintage fonts used by the Cubs from 1926-1936.
The cleats for the “Future Legends” uniform—called the “Spine Highlight”—are as groundbreaking.
Hewitt said his group wanted to “create something that had never been seen before” when he developed the ultra-light cleat. Unnecessary weight was “cored out of the outsole,” then “filled with foam” and topped off with a compression-fit sleeve around the ankle to create a cleat the reacts to a ballplayers movements.
Completing the set are batting gloves with a compression sleeve modeled after the “Spine Highlight,” matching socks and a cap with Wrigley Field ivy in the upper visor.
Now, the uniforms are more than just fit and functionality.
They reflect the experience that the 36 high school players who were selected by Baseball Factory to play in the All-America Baseball Game get to be a part of.
It's a four-day event, complete with a home-run derby and a community building activity. It is also the first time many of the participants are stepping onto a professional baseball field. As Ripken noted, the All-America Baseball Game "is a showcase for the best kids in the country."
It is an honor to be chosen.
Under Armour wanted to make the new “Future Legends” uniform a symbol of that privilege and a reminder of just how special it is to take part in a game that represents the pinnacle of accomplishment for a prep baseball player.
Did Under Armour get it right?
It was “time to do something different,” Clement said. If by "different" he meant a uniform that combines the grace of baseball's golden days and cutting-edge technology, he was absolutely correct.
Before B/R had a chance to see the uniforms firsthand, Ripken said that “Under Armour has that knack of knowing what it is kids really like to aspire too” and that “old school was en vogue.”
The Hall of Famer was right on both accounts. Three years in the making, Clement, Hewitt and their teams got the “Future Legends” uniform right.
This will mark the sixth year that Under Armour has put on the All-America Baseball Game, which will be played at Wrigley Field on August 24, at 1:30 PM and televised on MLB Network.
Interviews with Mr. Ripken, Mr. Clement and Mr. Hewitt were conducted on Friday, July 26, at Wrigley Field.