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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Design Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.

The Montreal Expos (French: Expos de Montréal) team started in 1969 and never changed their logo.  For almost 40 years the team held on to this awesome mark because it was smart and looked great. Expos de Montreal Baseball. That is the secret behind this logo. Interwoven script pieces all come together to abbreviate the full name of the team. This logo is a little dated looking, but I can imagine this being modernized and still looking amazing without significant change. That is how you know this is a good logo. The line work is smooth, it is creative and clever and I commend the designer for coming up with a mark that doesn’t rely on a baseball to remind the viewer that it is a team logo. This is easily one of the smartest logos in baseball history.

I literally went, “Oh wow,” when I read this bit. I’d never understood this about the Expos logo.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: April 17, 2014 at 05:09 PM | 79 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, blue jays, brewers, cubs, design, expos, logos, mariners, phillies, tigers, uniforms, white sox

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   1. Good cripple hitter Posted: April 17, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4688185)
I liked this list until I got to the Angels / Chief Wahoo entries. Is there anything interesting or memorable in the current Angels logo?

   2. cardsfanboy Posted: April 17, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4688191)
I had assumed that the Brewers logo would automatically be number one. I don't think there has ever been a better design that perfectly encapsulates all the elements it was trying to do.

And I think that the choice of the Indian logo was to provoke a "political correctness" response.

I'm glad to see he didn't go with any of the "lazy" designs just because of history (that would be the Cardinals, Yankees, Giants, Red Sox, A's etc)
   3. Poulanc Posted: April 17, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4688200)
I get that it's a list, and probably created with the purpose of getting a response, but that looks like a pretty poor list of the best baseball logos of all time.
   4. Select Storage Device Posted: April 17, 2014 at 08:28 PM (#4688203)
Nine fart-sniffing minimalist logos and Chief Wahoo. Job well done, designroom.

Edit: So after RTFA, it's some nice bits about about some very fine logos, and Chief Wahoo.
   5. JJ1986 Posted: April 17, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4688205)
The Brewers and Expos logos listed are some of the best, but otherwise a mostly boring list that doesn't encompass "history" very well.
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:06 PM (#4688260)
that would be the Cardinals, Yankees, Giants, Red Sox, A's etc)


I can give or take the rest, but I love the A's elephant.

As for his list, I really like the M's compass logo and always liked the simple haloed A. I'm not sure what he sees in the Cubs.

   7. Publius Publicola Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:18 PM (#4688268)
I can give or take the rest, but I love the A's elephant.


I was about to write this myself.
   8. deputydrew Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4688270)
I know everyone likes that Expos logo, but does anyone really know what it is? As a kid, I always thought it was "e-l-b" which obviously makes no sense. I think of it along the lines of a great tv commercial that has you talking, but still with no clue about what the product was. Sure, it looks nice, but what the hell is it?
   9. BDC Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4688271)
No love for the strange baseball-headed man escaping from the Reds' C? It's certainly high on the inadvertently creepy list.
   10. cardsfanboy Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:33 PM (#4688276)
I know everyone likes that Expos logo, but does anyone really know what it is? As a kid, I always thought it was "e-l-b" which obviously makes no sense. I think of it along the lines of a great tv commercial that has you talking, but still with no clue about what the product was. Sure, it looks nice, but what the hell is it?


The article and the excerpt at the top of the page spells it out.

Expos de Montreal Baseball.
   11. deputydrew Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4688280)
The article and the excerpt at the top of the page spells it out.



Yeah, I get it. Thanks. But who knew that before reading the article? I don't think a logo can be considered great if 95% of reasonably educated baseball fans don't know what it is.
   12. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 17, 2014 at 10:55 PM (#4688287)
I'm obviously partial to the Dodgers (not the LA, though I think I probably have doodled it about 8 million times) logo, but..

I'm just not a fan of his rationalization for Chief Wahoo (while admitting that I have a Pedro Cerrano jersey). It seemed like he was trying about hard for page clicks. It could just be me.
   13. bobm Posted: April 17, 2014 at 11:39 PM (#4688299)
[10] Edgar M. Bronfman?
   14. Steve Treder Posted: April 18, 2014 at 01:17 AM (#4688307)
I don't think a logo can be considered great if 95% of reasonably educated baseball fans don't know what it is.

It never, ever made any fricking sense to me. I've always considered it perhaps the stupidest logo ever.
   15. DFA Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:07 AM (#4688312)
I don't understand why the pedestrian Angels logo makes any list. I'm partial to the Orioles current logo, and am a sucker for the classics like the Royals, Giants, Dodgers, and the hated Red Sox/Yankees.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 18, 2014 at 04:39 AM (#4688321)
I guess there are two kinds of people--the kind who respect cleverness and the kind who mistake cleverness that they didn't personally understand for stupidity.
   17. Swedish Chef Posted: April 18, 2014 at 05:34 AM (#4688323)
I guess there are two kinds of people--the kind who respect cleverness and the kind who mistake cleverness that they didn't personally understand for stupidity.

Clever logos seems very much like puns to me, even if you get it there's not much depth there, just torturing of words/design elements to achieve a simple effect.
   18. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:05 AM (#4688326)
I just read the article, and the author might want to begin by telling us where a "primary logo" has to appear before it's considered a "logo". When, for instance, he says that this was the Tigers' "primary logo" from 1934 to 1960, my first reaction was "Where in the hell did this logo appear? On their stationery? Because it sure wasn't on their uniforms."

And if a primary logo doesn't need to appear on the uniform, and this one doesn't make the top 10, then you really have to wonder whether the author is simply disqualifying anything created before the year he was born, whether he gives minimalist abstraction a huge thumb on the scale, or whether he just can't acknowledge anything related to the Yankees.



   19. John Northey Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:28 AM (#4688327)
Very odd list. Of course, many of these lists are. The Cleveland bit was pure stupidity. Darken the skin tone and remove the feather and no one in the US would dare use it. No one today would use it if they were starting up a new team either. Taking a look at http://cleveland.indians.mlb.com/ I see the logo has been cut down drastically in use, just saw it on the footer, which is good to see as it used to be the background and prominent in the advertising for clothing. With luck it'll vanish within a few years like Atlanta's old mascot did.
   20. Roadblock Jones Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:44 AM (#4688329)
I've never gotten the love for the Brewers logo. It's clever, but says nothing about the Brewers or Milwaukee. I've also never associated the Brewers with gloves inasmuch as I think of them historically as an offensive-minded franchise.
   21. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 18, 2014 at 07:58 AM (#4688332)
I know everyone likes that Expos logo, but does anyone really know what it is? As a kid, I always thought it was "e-l-b" which obviously makes no sense.

As a kid, I always thought it was "e-l-b" too - the Montreal elb. I guessed that the "e" stood for "Expos" and the "b" could be "baseball," but I had no idea what the "l" was.

A few years into my fandom, my older brother smugly explained to me that the overall logo was an "M" for Montreal -- to that point I never had any idea that it was an "M," and it's still hard for me to see the "M" now. Even if that logo was a solid red or blue, I don't think it would be apparent that it's an "M".

I did like the logo enough to buy an Expos hat though!
   22. zonk Posted: April 18, 2014 at 08:05 AM (#4688335)
I'm not sure what he sees in the Cubs.


I always liked the Cubs logo - even rooting bias aside (just for the record/case in point, I also like the old White Sox logo in the article).

It's recognizable, it's historic, and it's simple. For a major league logo - I think having a sort of understated quality is important.

For inventiveness, cleverness, etc -- I suspect that there are easily a dozen or two minor league logos that beat every major league team -- but those logos have to be clever and eye-catching because the brand behind them isn't recognizable. It's different for an MLB team...
   23. Swedish Chef Posted: April 18, 2014 at 08:19 AM (#4688337)
or whether he just can't acknowledge anything related to the Yankees.

Then he probably should acknowledge the overlaid N and Y logo. It's the only baseball logo that is iconic (or even recognized) globally.
   24. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4688342)
or whether he just can't acknowledge anything related to the Yankees.

Then he probably should acknowledge the overlaid N and Y logo. It's the only baseball logo that is iconic (or even recognized) globally.


I agree, but according to sportslogos.net, it hasn't been the Yankees' primary logo since 1946.

And if the author is considering all team logos, and not just primary logos, then he's really got some weird ideas as to what the top 10 are.
   25. villageidiom Posted: April 18, 2014 at 08:50 AM (#4688343)
First pass:

Brewers - yes
Expos - yes
Tigers - yes
MLB - yes
Mariners - yes
Blue Jays - yes
Phillies - yes
Angels - no*
Cubs - no
White Sox - no
Indians - no

It's easy to reject certain logos and say they don't belong in the top 10, but the next step is "if they're so bad, what should they be replaced with?" Fortunately, I only need to replace my 4 "no" votes with 3 logos, because his top 10 actually has 11 in it. Here are my three nominees:

Rockies - There's just a nice, clean look to it, denoting the notable features of the Rocky Mountain region, a baseball in flight. Purple mountain majesty.

Diamondbacks - Similar to the reasons why the Brewers' glove logo ranks high for me, this particular version of the Diamondbacks' logo - the letters D and B arranged as a snake's head - appeals to me.

Orioles - It's better than a cartoon pirate, a cartoon friar, a cartoon of two Minnesotans shaking hands, a cartoon elephant, a cartoon native, or anything associated with the Looney Tunes Marlins. Any image you have in your mind of Earl Weaver has this logo - or one very similar to it - atop his head. It's probably unfair to consider the logo that way rather than on its merits, but to me it's close to inseparable.

* I do like the Angels' logo, I really do. If my list were Top 11 instead of Top 10, it might make the list. You might even convince me to put it ahead of the Orioles' logo into the Top 10. But it's kind of like candidates for the Hall of Fame: if you have to convince people that one belongs there, one probably doesn't belong there.
   26. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 18, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4688344)
And if a primary logo doesn't need to appear on the uniform, and this one doesn't make the top 10, then you really have to wonder whether the author is simply disqualifying anything created before the year he was born, whether he gives minimalist abstraction a huge thumb on the scale, or whether he just can't acknowledge anything related to the Yankees.


Nah, it's nothing special. I think the interlocking NY (particularly if you're going for zonk's historic, recognizable and simple effect) is much stronger.

I'll also agree with those who aren't wowed by the Brewers and Expos cleverness*. I'd have found room for the Swinging Padre, however, on any Top 10 list.

* And I don't really think the Expos de Montreal baseball works. It's either D B and/or an M, or e l b** and/or M but it isn't E D M B.

** Like others, that's what I thought it was.

   27. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:14 AM (#4688352)
For my money the old English "D" that the Tigers use it he best. I love that.

And no fan of the Yankees am I but as noted above the interlocking NY is a truly international brand like no other baseball team's logo.
   28. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:21 AM (#4688355)
OTOH some might say that these are the real Yankees' logos.
   29. sinicalypse Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:25 AM (#4688357)
#1) i'd take the vintage angels' logo with the lower case a and the tilted halo over the current one every day of the week and twice on sundays.

#8) i was also fascinated by the expos logo as a youth. somewhere along the way i remember hearing something like "elb" was the owners initials before i started thinking "the logo says 'me' which is cool" and now this edmb thing seems to make sense as well. i think the best part is that nobody really knows; the expos are sort of a mystery shrouded in an enigma and they certainly knew when to leave the party..... escorted from the premesis by mlb, of course.

as an aside, i always get flummoxed when people try to tell me that i have to pick a new team because the expos are gone. if it was up to my head i'd champion florida baseball with a slant towards the rays, but they don't elicit any gut feelings akin to the ones i had for the expos after i saw a vladimir guerrero at bat and immediately said "that's my guy and that's my team" back in 2001 (i had been invited to join my old academic nemesis' fantasy league, and i really wanted to kick his ass). it's not even like the odd sense of pity i instantly had for arsenal when i was watching grant f***ing holt lead norwich city to a victory over the gunners in 2012. ah well, at least i know that i'm definitely not a cubs fan. that's enough for me even if it isn't for many others.
   30. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:27 AM (#4688359)
I like most of his choices. The expos logo was great even if you didn't know what it stood for. I don't agree re the Brewers (clever, but not that interesting visually), White Sox, or Indians. I've always loved the Blue Jays, Mariners, Tigers, and Cubs logos, and the MLB logo is a classic. I'm biased, but I also love the Orioles cartoon bird.

The Yankees logos aren't that interesting IMO.
   31. BDC Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4688360)
I'll just chime in that I don't think I ever saw the M on the Expos' hat till they'd left Montreal. It may have been some Primate in a thread here who finally explained it to me.
   32. SoCalDemon Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:29 AM (#4688361)
Re: 18, The interlocking NY is definitely a classic. I can't get over the top hat in the other Yankees logo. And put me in the A's elephant camp.
   33. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4688362)
The Rockies logo isn't bad, but it's a little busy for my taste. I don't like the Diamondbacks "A" logo, but the "D" is great.
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4688363)
The article and the excerpt at the top of the page spells it out.

Expos de Montreal Baseball ILLUMINATI
   35. Ken Griffey's Grotesquely Swollen Jaw Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4688371)
I thought the Expos logo was e l b as a kid too, and, in that charming and dumb kid way, I somehow decided it stood for "Everybody loves baseball.'
   36. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4688374)
I don't think I've ever met anyone who saw the Expos logo as something other than "e l b". The explanation was that it meant "Expos le baseball". Teaching great French grammar through great design!

I became aware years ago that there was supposed to be a "d" in there, but didn't know it was supposed to be an "M" until right now. This probably relates to the different styles of cursive writing that people are taught. But if you compare it to the "M" in the word Montreal on the jersey, it looks kind of similar.
   37. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 18, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4688377)

I thought the Expos logo was e l b as a kid too, and, in that charming and dumb kid way, I somehow decided it stood for "Everybody loves baseball.'


That is fantastic. Sometimes I miss being a kid (and yeah, I was an e l b guy too).
   38. Perry Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4688400)
I'm just the opposite of most of you here. I was 14 when the Expos made their debut, and from the first time I saw the logo I saw it as M and only as M. Not sure when I noticed (or had it pointed out) about the embedded, interwoven letters, but it was much, much later.
   39. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4688403)
We had all of the MLB club pennants in our rooms as a kid, and I probably spent hours and hours staring at that Expos logo during my childhood, and my only conclusion was that it had to mean something in a French sort of way, and I was just naive, and since I didn't know anybody who knew or understood french, I just wasn't going to know what it meant. As an aside, I could see the bird in the Atlanta Hawks' logo in about .3 seconds.
   40. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4688408)
The 90s were an ugly time for sports logos, as evidenced here (scroll down).

Yikes. Apply eye-bleach as needed.
   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4688412)
I always noticed the M in the Expos logo, but someone in pointed out the E-B to me in high school. I thought it was "Expos Baseball" with a baseball bat in the middle.

The 90s were an ugly time for sports logos,


Yes, that was an awful period, exacerbated by the need for all minor league teams to feel the need to create new, creative names for themselves, as their merchandise had become popular.
   42. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4688418)
I don't think a logo can be considered great if 95% of reasonably educated baseball fans don't know what it is.


If the logo is in French, why would you expect non-French-speaking fans to understand it?
   43. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4688419)
The 90s were an ugly time for sports logos, as evidenced here (scroll down).

Absolutely. The Toronto Raptors logo is just one of many awful examples.
   44. villageidiom Posted: April 18, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4688432)
And no fan of the Yankees am I but as noted above the interlocking NY is a truly international brand like no other baseball team's logo.
The idea here is to judge the logo for the logo. One simple test for this is to pretend MLB, and all its teams, and all their logos, didn't exist before today. That detaches the logo from the team's history. The interlocking NYs, the interlocking LA, the interlocking SF and KC and STL, the Pittsburgh P, the Boston B or the Brooklyn B, don't evoke anything. They don't even evoke a baseball team's name, just a city. If you saw the interlocking NY logo but knew nothing about its connection to the Yankees, it could be a logo for the Yankees, or the Mets, or the Giants, or the Jets, or the Knicks, or the Rangers, or the Islanders, or the city, or the state, or any number of businesses located there. A good logo catches your eye and tells you something.

I think that's what gets the disagreement on the Expos logo. It catches your eye and tells you something, but it's not entirely clear what it's telling you.

(And FWIW, I first saw it as Expos Le Baseball, and only saw the M after it was pointed out to me.)
   45. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4688442)
If the logo is in French, why would you expect non-French-speaking fans to understand it?

The letters "D" and "L" are common to both French and English. Yet an estimated 100,000,000 times more people saw an "L" than saw a "D".
   46. BDC Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM (#4688443)
Of the goofy cartoon logos, and pace villageidiom, I really like the Minnesota Twins shaking hands. It just evokes innocence and enthusiasm.

Aside from the racist caricatures, what's the worst MLB logo? A Devil Ray is really hard to draw, so I've always disliked the various Tampa Bay attempts. Any attempt at a representational Pittsburgh Pirate should also be discouraged. This guy just looks like a really uncomfortable attempt at cosplay.

   47. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4688446)
The idea here is to judge the logo for the logo. One simple test for this is to pretend MLB, and all its teams, and all their logos, didn't exist before today. That detaches the logo from the team's history. The interlocking NYs, the interlocking LA, the interlocking SF and KC and STL, the Pittsburgh P, the Boston B or the Brooklyn B, don't evoke anything. They don't even evoke a baseball team's name, just a city. If you saw the interlocking NY logo but knew nothing about its connection to the Yankees, it could be a logo for the Yankees, or the Mets, or the Giants, or the Jets, or the Knicks, or the Rangers, or the Islanders, or the city, or the state, or any number of businesses located there. A good logo catches your eye and tells you something.


Couldn't you say the exact same thing about one of your Top 10 choices, the Tigers' D?* Hell, in that case it could just as likely be a logo for something located in Denver or Dallas.

* Mind you, the Old English D would most definitely make my Top 10. But I'm not trying to advance the argument you made above.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I always saw both the M and the e l b, I just couldn't figure out what e l b meant.
   48. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4688459)
The idea here is to judge the logo for the logo. One simple test for this is to pretend MLB, and all its teams, and all their logos, didn't exist before today. That detaches the logo from the team's history.

Right, and History is Bunk. I think those glasses you're looking for are actually right there on your head.
   49. JJ1986 Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM (#4688461)
The letters "D" and "L" are common to both French and English. Yet an estimated 100,000,000 times more people saw an "L" than saw a "D".


I don't think there's supposed to be a "D" in it. It's EMB, the article just made a mistake with the bolding.
   50. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4688463)
Aside from the racist caricatures, what's the worst MLB logo?


A lot of the mid-90s logos - Rangers, Devil Rays, Angels. I loved all the Jays logos except this awful one. This is hilariously stupid. This was the inspiration for the Clucky Chicken sketch on SNL. This will give you nightmares.
   51. JJ1986 Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4688472)
For worst logos, I really dislike the new Diamondbacks "DB." Their whole branding change seemed geared towards looking like a generic fake baseball team as an over-correction to the purple and teal snakes.
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4688476)
The idea here is to judge the logo for the logo. One simple test for this is to pretend MLB, and all its teams, and all their logos, didn't exist before today. That detaches the logo from the team's history. The interlocking NYs, the interlocking LA, the interlocking SF and KC and STL, the Pittsburgh P, the Boston B or the Brooklyn B, don't evoke anything. They don't even evoke a baseball team's name, just a city. If you saw the interlocking NY logo but knew nothing about its connection to the Yankees, it could be a logo for the Yankees, or the Mets, or the Giants, or the Jets, or the Knicks, or the Rangers, or the Islanders, or the city, or the state, or any number of businesses located there. A good logo catches your eye and tells you something.


Absolutely agree... All the interlocking logos are boring and don't really tell you much. And I'm sorry Andy, but that Yankee other logo is just pure lameness.
   53. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4688487)
Absolutely agree... All the interlocking logos are boring and don't really tell you much. And I'm sorry Andy, but that Yankee other logo is just pure lameness.

That's what makes horse races. It's hard to argue when it's all so completely subjective. But for the love of me I can't figure out why you wouldn't put in a good word for this.
   54. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4688492)
JJ1986 is crazy. The "db" making the snake head is brilliant.
   55. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 18, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4688495)
Diamondbacks - Similar to the reasons why the Brewers' glove logo ranks high for me, this particular version of the Diamondbacks' logo - the letters D and B arranged as a snake's head - appeals to me.
For worst logos, I really dislike the new Diamondbacks "DB." Their whole branding change seemed geared towards looking like a generic fake baseball team as an over-correction to the purple and teal snakes.
Heh.
   56. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: April 18, 2014 at 12:49 PM (#4688533)
Ok, so here's a French Canadian opinion of the Expos' logo.

I grew up thinking the logo meant e l b. Which is mind boggling because I did not know what it meant. People here mentioned it could stand for "Expos le baseball" but although grammatically correct, it still makes no sense whatsoever. It's a phrase that would NEVER be used by anyone, even by five year-old kids. "Expos le baseball" is the equivalent of saying "Expos the baseball". You can, I guess, but you may not. In proper French (that's what was used in French broadcasts), it should be "Le baseball des Expos", aka "Expos' baseball".

As a kid, we couldn't really figure out what the logo meant and we also did not really understand the team's name (we knew about Expo '67, but could not understand why on earth our baseball team was named after that event).

I never saw the M until very recently. I think the author's assumption that it means "Expos de Montreal Baseball" is the best one. It's also grammatically correct. I know Jonah Kerri provides an explanation in his latest book, but it's at home (and I'm not) and I forgot what it was...
   57. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 18, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4688543)
I always just thought it meant "Montreal Expos Baseball" Either way, it was a cool logo.
   58. villageidiom Posted: April 18, 2014 at 01:24 PM (#4688561)
Right, and History is Bunk.
No.

If a logo is evoking a history through its imagery, great. If a logo is evoking a history because you experienced that history and formed that connection between the logo and that history, well, good for you, but that has nothing to do with the design of the logo. The interlocking NY, for example, could have instead been a sandwich or a swastika or a simian or a sled, and you still would have formed that connection. That doesn't make the logo a good logo. That's why I suggest an exercise to disconnect the logo from the team's history in order to judge the logo on its merits.

As someone pointed out upthread this approach doesn't help with my choice of the Tigers' old English D. That's true. "D" could be anything. I like the classic design, and the notion that an Old English script coveys a long tradition, a team that's been around a long time. It evokes a length of history, but the drawback is that it does so without conveying it has anything to do with baseball, or specifically Detroit. On the other hand, the "A" for Atlanta conveys "We have excellent penmanship," and the curly W used for each DC team conveys "I'm a girl." Of the purely alphabetical logos the Detroit logo is easily my favorite, and becomes the exception to the rule.

People here mentioned it could stand for "Expos le baseball" but although grammatically correct, it still makes no sense whatsoever.
In full disclosure, I thought it was that simply because I was convinced it was ELB, not EDB, not EDMB, not EB, not EMB, and I tried to make the L fit. And in even more full disclosure, in real life my initials are ELB, so I really wanted to see ELB in the logo.

I think I've mentioned this before, but I went to a Dodgers/Giants game in SF a couple years ago with my family. I wore an Expos t-shirt mrsidiom gave me as a gift. Throughout the day, many strangers struck up baseball conversations with me because of the shirt. My daughter later said wearing an Expos t-shirt is like match.com for baseball fans. Try it sometime.
   59. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4688577)
If a logo is evoking a history through its imagery, great. If a logo is evoking a history because you experienced that history and formed that connection between the logo and that history, well, good for you, but that has nothing to do with the design of the logo. The interlocking NY, for example, could have instead been a sandwich or a swastika or a simian or a sled, and you still would have formed that connection. That doesn't make the logo a good logo. That's why I suggest an exercise to disconnect the logo from the team's history in order to judge the logo on its merits.

On pure aesthetics, I'd choose the top hat Yankees logo as an easy top 10 pick, but not the interlocking NY. And since aesthetics are purely a matter of subjective taste, there isn't much more to say. I like the Tigers' Old English "D", but that Phillies "P", is about as inspiring as this. And I'd take Chief Wahoo any day over that hopelessly bland looking Cubs logo. But again, it's nothing but personal preference either way.

   60. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4688597)
I'm not a fan of the Yankees (do have a Yankees hat somewhere though, mostly cause Clemens) but that interlocking NY on the navy (almost) black is just a good look. And even though I like the birds on the bat alternate that the Cards use (I've owned a couple of those hats because it's just such a damned good looking hat), that StL logo is sweet. I'm also a huge fan of that Angels in the Outfield interlocking "CA" logo. That was a great looking logo (the new Angels logo isn't bad, I just hate the red).

I will also say that I love that the Orioles went back to that cartoon bird again. I'm coaching my boys' t-ball team this year and we ended up getting the Orioles. I had requested the White Sox (our team last year), but I wasn't disappointed to get the Orioles. I've had my eye on that home hat since last season and it gave me a reason to pick it up.

Heck, that "new" old Astros hat is pretty sweet. I have to admit that I think of logos in terms of hats. I liked that black A's hat from a few years back (but I like the green one with the yellow bill a little better now). I think that old Marlins black hat was nice (coached the Marlins years ago). One of my favorite all time hats was the grey Pirates hat. I loved that hat. Aside from the Pirates (it just looked good) and the Marlins and Phililes (coached them), I have a strict "AL only" rule if it isn't the Dodgers.

And no matter what anyone else says, that white LA on the Dodger blue cap is just fantastic looking. It's plain, but it just looks good.
   61. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4688603)
Heck, that "new" old Astros hat is pretty sweet.

I love the Colts logo. I understand why the team needed to change name, but that logo was truly great.
   62. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4688606)
I'm also a huge fan of that Angels in the Outfield interlocking "CA" logo. That was a great looking logo (the new Angels logo isn't bad, I just hate the red).
I loved that old CA logo and wordmark. The current Angels wordmark is basically the same as the one from the mid-90s. I'd have preferred the blue that was featured in the Angels uniforms of my youth, but I like the current logo very much, bold and classic and incorporating the halo that is unique to the organization.

The current trend in logos, in sports and elsewhere, is simplicity. Teams want an iconic look, which means a simple, memorable logo icon that is instantly recognizable even without any accompanying wordmark. Among the newer ones, I think the DBacks have done a great job with their icon mark, and I like Houston's as well. Most of the teams, you just get used to whether you like them or not.
   63. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4688610)
Heck, that "new" old Astros hat is pretty sweet.


I think the entire new Astros look is excellent.

And I know I'm in the minority, but I loathe the damn cartoon Oriole. Possibly my least favorite hat, and has been since the days of Earl.
   64. Cooper Nielson Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4688613)
I think the entire new Astros look is excellent.

Agree wholeheartedly about the Astros' AL look. In my opinion, the best logos and uniforms in their history are right now.
   65. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4688614)
What, you didn't think the orange-yellow barred jerseys were awesome?!
   66. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4688617)
Heck, that "new" old Astros hat is pretty sweet.

It's okay, but this was much better.

Coke to Tim, though his link didn't work.
   67. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:43 PM (#4688618)
Coke to Tim, though his link didn't work.

Weird because it works for me.
   68. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: April 18, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4688624)
Weird because it works for me.

I've tried it on both Firefox and Google, and here's what I'm getting:

The previous page is sending you to http://440supercommando.deviantart.com/art/Houston-Colt-45-s-77292601.


And that URL leads me to this.
   69. Flynn Posted: April 18, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4688650)
My daughter later said wearing an Expos t-shirt is like match.com for baseball fans. Try it sometime.


It absolutely is.

I bought a 90s road Expos jersey off Ebay, which I had delivered to my mom's home in San Francisco, and also got an Expos jacket for Christmas. Each time I wore one of those out in the Bay Area, I had about a half dozen people call something out or stop me and ask where I got it. A couple were Montrealers/Canadians, but it really does get the baseball fans out of the woodwork.
   70. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 18, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4688662)
I think it may just be Canadians. Whenever I've got my Jays jersey on in public, someone will invariable stop me, ask me if I'm from Toronto, and talk about how lovely it is to see their beloved Jays being worn around town. And just like the stereotype, they're always supernice.
   71. Chone Mueller Posted: April 18, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4688663)
I liked the old Angels cap with the halo on top. I don't like the current red-on-red cap.
   72. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: April 18, 2014 at 04:23 PM (#4688676)
I loved that old CA logo and wordmark. The current Angels wordmark is basically the same as the one from the mid-90s. I'd have preferred the blue that was featured in the Angels uniforms of my youth, but I like the current logo very much, bold and classic and incorporating the halo that is unique to the organization.


That CA logo is one of my favorite logos ever. That navy hat with the red logo outlined in a tiny bit of white just looked fantastic. I wore the hell out of my old Angels hat (and I've generally disliked the Angels for most of my life, but damn.. that logo was sublime..). I think I ended up picking up that hat for $10 when they went to the that silly perry winkle logo.

Oh, and that cartoon O's logo is the bomb. Though, my 4 year old might take issue with it being an Oriole. He is darn near convinced that it is a penguin with an Orioles hat on. Sometimes, you just can't argue with 4 year olds.
   73. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 18, 2014 at 04:36 PM (#4688688)
Has anyone mentioned the Padres' swinging friar? That was kind of fun. For me, it's tough to beat the Brewers' glove though. The cartoon Oriole is pretty neat, too.
   74. bobm Posted: April 18, 2014 at 05:13 PM (#4688730)
http://baseballresearcher.blogspot.com/2010/03/that-famous-yankees-logo.html
   75. Zach Posted: April 18, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4688739)
If a logo is evoking a history through its imagery, great. If a logo is evoking a history because you experienced that history and formed that connection between the logo and that history, well, good for you, but that has nothing to do with the design of the logo. The interlocking NY, for example, could have instead been a sandwich or a swastika or a simian or a sled, and you still would have formed that connection. That doesn't make the logo a good logo. That's why I suggest an exercise to disconnect the logo from the team's history in order to judge the logo on its merits.

You're being too much of a purist here. "NY" isn't an abstract symbol -- it means New York. There are many, many people the world over who wear Yankees hats but have never heard of Babe Ruth, because to them it means "I have been to New York," or "I would like to go to New York," or even "I am a New York type of person, even though I will never personally go there." If you go to Europe, that's the dominant meaning.

Within the constraints of letters standing for cities, I'd say that the interlocking NY and the old English D are the pick of the litter. I think the KC looks pretty snazzy, too, but that might just be the Royals fan talking.
   76. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: April 19, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4689033)
wearing an Expos t-shirt is like match.com for baseball fans. Try it sometime.


A few years back, I attended a NJ Devils game and saw a number of people wearing Quebec Nordiques sweaters. (One of them told me, "If Winnipeg can get their team back, so can we!")

If Expo 67 had never happened, what would Montreal have named their team?
   77. bobm Posted: April 19, 2014 at 09:09 AM (#4689037)
From Wikipedia:

With its long history of use in Montreal, "Royals" was one of the candidate nicknames for the new franchise, but the Kansas City team had already adopted this name. Many names were suggested by Montreal residents (including the "Voyageurs" and, in a coincidental twist, the "Nationals", the name now used by the team in its current home in Washington), but the clear winner was "Expos." In addition to the tie-in with Expo 67, the nickname also had the advantage of being the same in either English or French, the city's two dominant languages.
   78. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 19, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4689038)
What the heck is Ansky?
   79. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: April 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4689567)
I'm biased towards the classic and interlocking logos, but I really think the Mets' logo deserves to be on his list. Even one of seeks to eliminate all interlocking logos as "lazy", the historical context saves the a Mets' logo. It captures the franchise very well. Giants' NY with Dodgers' blue.

Also, while the Expos logo is fine, it was the tricolor hat that makes the logo iconic. Put that logo on a jersey or jacket, and it's eh. Even after 1994 or 2004, it's still eh. But that hat? That's fantastic. Their red cap washed out the e, and the blue the b. With the tricolor, the colors pop (although maybe that's why some didn't see a l or d and read it as eb).

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