Last week I profiled the Houston Astros logos from the 1970's/1980's and how much those logos meant to me as a kid. I asked for readers to submit their stories about logos they loved and received this great e-mail from Jon who is the editor of the Fleer Sticker Project. If you haven't seen this fantastic blog, I can assure you that you will lose a few hours of productivity when you visit. Jon's knowledge of Fleer Stickers and sports logos in general is outsranding and this blog is packed with great imagery and information. Here are Jon's thoughts on some of his favorite sports logos.
By Jon Helfenstein
First off, I've always thought the Astros had one of the best logos in baseball when they had the Astrodome logo, and I thought the rainbow uniform look was great. Yes, it was very 70's, but the great thing was that it was unique. Unfortunately the uniforms of today (for all teams) seem to be much less interesting and unique than they were during the 1970s.
Another logo that I always liked was the
1970's A's logo. Once they added "The Swingin'" and the pair of white shoes (which were very
cool at the time) to the logo (which had previously just been a white
baseball with "A's" in the center), the logo had personality and some attitude. I also love those 1970's A's
uniforms. The logo did a good job of reflecting the personality
of the team at that time which had a swagger from winning 3 consecutive championships.
But my favorite logo is the 1960s - 1980's Orioles logo with the cartoon bird swinging the huge bat in the orange (and sometimes black) circle. The smiling bird on the caps was a great compliment to the logo. The cartoon bird has a personality, something the current logo clearly lacks.
I understand why teams change logos and uniforms from time to time, but I was very disappointed when the Orioles changed the logo in 1989 and starting using the more ornithologically correct bird in the logo and on the caps. The logo is just very cold and drab to me. It has no life or personality, regardless of how many times they've made slight changes to the bird over the last 20 years.
I mean, which logo is more eye catching? Its not even close. Same with the caps. I know the Orioles finally brought
back "Baltimore" to their road jerseys this year (thanks Washington
Nationals!), but they really had a chance to improve things by going back to
the cartoon bird caps as well - if not as the primary cap, at least as an
alternate - but no....we have the "O's" cap with the upside down apostrophe.
Is there a more ridiculous cap in baseball? Yes, fans call them the O's, but
the caps just don't do it for me.
I followed the Orioles as I grew up near Baltimore during the 1970's and early 1980's when they were a class organization, and were one of the best teams in baseball. Obviously that impacts how I feel about the logos and caps that I associate with those teams and the memories I have of seeing the team making some World Series appearances during that time, so I admit a strong bias in preferring the old logos. If I were designing a logo for a team today, and could animate that logo to have some personality versus just making the logo look just like a realistic representation of my team's name, I would go with the option that made the character at least look interesting and something you would want to look at.
Thanks to Jon for this fantastic submission. I really appreciate his passion for sports logos and especially the effort he puts into his Fleer Sticker Project. This is a great example of how much a sports logo means to a fan and the emotions it represents. I too liked the Orioles as a kid, after pulling a Jim Palmer 3-D card out of my cereal box one day, the Orioles became my favorite American League team. The smiling Oriole is a logo I would also like to see return to the field, as it was one of the best from its era and one of my all-time favorites. -Jim