Harlan graduate’s business honored as one of best in Louisville


Jim Kirk, president of Ump-Attire.com, spoke at the Minor League Baseball Umpire Training Academy. Kirk’s business was recently honored as one of the 20 best in Louisville.

Almost 40 years after his days at Clyde Lemarr Field and Huff Park as a star in the Harlan Little League, Jim Kirk still loves to be around baseball.
Kirk followed up a short career umpiring high school baseball in the 13th Region by teaching himself E-Commerce development and ultimately purchased a niche sporting goods website, Ump-Attire.com, in 2006. The business was recently honored by “Business First Magazine” as one of the 20 “Top Places to Work in Louisville.” Ump-Attire.com was recognized for “employers creating a positive work environment for their employees” based on communication and resources, individual needs, manager effectiveness, personal engagement, team dynamic and trust in leadership.
“This recognition validates the hard work and commitment that all our staff members give to build and maintain an environment that is just as much a resource for us as employees and our families as it is for our customers and theirs,” said Kirk, a 1988 Harlan High School graduate.Kirk was a three-sport standout for the Green Dragons before going on to play baseball at Centre College, where he was three-time all-conference selection
He played in two regional tournaments with the basketball Dragons, including as a sophomore in 1986 when Billy Hicks was coach and then in 1987 when Harlan won its first district title in eight years with Kevin Ball in his first season as coach.
Kirk was a standout first baseman for the baseball Dragons and helped lead Harlan to the 13th Region Tournament finals in 1988 under Todd Murner. The Dragons fell to Cumberland in an all-52nd District showdown in the championship game.
After his college baseball career ended, Kirk went into umpiring while working as a vocational rehabilitation counselor in southeastern Kentucky before eventually taking the reins of Ump-Attire.com and growing it into a multi-million dollar business and the leading retailer of umpire and referee uniforms worldwide. The company is the official supplier of Minor League Baseball umpires and college conferences, including the Southeastern Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference, as well as high schools across the state through the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. You’ll find area sports officials wearing the uniforms Kirk’s company provides on the same fields and in the same gyms where he played in the 1980s.
“My drive to succeed, without a doubt, comes directly from all the tough competition and excellent coaches I had while playing sports at Harlan Little League and Harlan High School,” Kirk said. “I am blessed to have had such great role models growing up in Harlan — the coaches, teachers and community leaders. They all continue to shape me and what I do each day.”


Jim Kirk (left) is pictured signing the deal in 2012 to become official supplier of Minor League Baseball.


Jim Kirk was a three-time all-conference selection at Centre College.