Ever tried an outfit and ended up changing like five times because you do not look right in any of them? The same thing has happened to Baltimore Orioles logo. A logo calls out to the customers, or in this case, fans. It is through a logo that fans can identify their teams, but for the team, it also has to represent something they can relate to otherwise it ends up being just a picture or words that lack meaning. For the Baltimore Orioles, they have had many changes in their logo to arrive at the one they currently have. To get a grasp of these changes, here is the history.
Using letters and city names
Since their first year in Milwaukee as a major club, the Baltimore Orioles have changed their logos so many times, ending up with 16 different logos. In 1901, their logo was "MILWAUKEE" a wordmark of the city and a design that most teams used in the 1900s. When the team went to St. Louis, Missouri, it changed its name to St. Louis Browns. Consequently, St. Louis Browns' first logo was "ST.L" running from 1902 to 1905, and the period was below the letter "T." The logo was brown and the "ST.L" was to represent St. Louis.
- In 1906, the St. Louis Browns changed their logo again, and even if they retained the color brown, it was only "STL" without a period. The acronym was inside a brown stick baseball diamond figure. The logo ran for two years before changing it.
- In 1908, St. Louis Browns had a brown fleur-de-lis logo which they used until 1910. In 1911, the logo was still in brown but changed to "StL," and they used it until 1915.
- From 1916 to 1935, the St. Louis Browns changed the logo by dropping the letter "t" to have "SL" instead, still in brown. This logo marked the end of using a city name and a letter in their logo.
Last years in St. Louis
From 1936 to 1951, St. Louis Browns used the statue of St. Louis on horseback, holding a sword. The statue was mounted atop a shield that had brown stars at the top and strips of orange and brown. A baseball with the word "BROWNS" was on top of the strips. The St. Louis Browns then changed entirely by having an elf in brown, black and orange.
Upon moving to Baltimore, the team changed its name to Baltimore Orioles which was in honor of the official state bird of Maryland. The change also meant adopting a new logo. Therefore, their logo as Baltimore Orioles was a smiling oriole colored black, orange and white, and perched on a white baseball. Behind the baseball were two bats crisscrossing while the word "ORIOLES" was on top of the baseball. They used this logo for nine years until 1965.
In 1966, the Baltimore Orioles brought in some assistance for their design. Stan Walsh has been behind creating some of the most unforgettable logos including Crackle and Pop. When he designed the Baltimore Orioles, he changed the black, white and orange oriole from perching on a baseball to swinging a bat. The oriole was also wearing cleats and inside an orange circle whose wordmark was "BALTIMORE ORIOLES." They used this logo until 1989 when they changed the colors to darker shades of black and orange, and it became their logo for the next three years.
In 1992, the Baltimore Orioles removed the circle and had the oriole, still in black, white and orange, perching on the "Orioles" script. Inside the tail of the scripts was the wordmark "BALTIMORE." This change became their logo until 1995
Introducing new colors
In 1995, the Baltimore Orioles introduced green and yellow to their logo while retaining the Oriole bird. The bird was still standing on the scripted "Orioles" but facing right. The script and bird maintained the black, orange and white colors but this time, they were set in a background comprising yellow and green baseball diamond. In 1998, very subtle changes were made to the bird since it still had the orange, black and white colors. The only difference was the drawing itself that defined the bird better. However in 1998 till 2008, the logo remained the same with the only change being a color enhancement. 2009 to 2018 saw the logo change by removing the baseball diamond background and while the trademark colors of black orange and white have remained, they were not as bright as the previous logo's.
In 2019, the Baltimore Orioles have moved from having the entire Oriole bird in their logo to just a cartoonish head of an Oriole. The oriole also is wearing a baseball cap which has the team's alternate logo "O's." However the colors white, black and orange have remained.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker