The History and Evolution of the San Francisco Giants Logo

The San Francisco Giants have been in existence for much, much longer than the baseball team has been called the San Francisco Giants. For those who are curious, the baseball team started out as a New York City baseball club founded by a team-up between the millionaire John B. Day and the baseball player Jim Mutrie in 1883. In those times, the baseball club was called the New York Gothams, which is a reference to the nickname that meant “Goat’s Town” in Anglo-Saxon.

Supposedly, the New York Gothams were renamed the New York Giants when the baseball team won a particularly rewarding victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. As a result, Mutrie went into the dressing room while calling the baseball players, “My big fellows! My giants!” Something that seems to have stuck with the baseball team ever since that time.

Over the course of their time in New York City, the New York Giants rose to some remarkable heights. However, when their success started to fade, their owners started considering a move to some other location. Eventually, the New York Giants were approached by the mayor of San Francisco at around the same time that the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers was approaching Los Angeles officials, with the result that there was a double move in 1957 that brought an end to the tri-team era of New York City baseball. There were those who opposed the move, but in the end, the New York Giants became the San Francisco Giants, which has existed for long time that it too has seen plenty of both ups and downs.

How Has the San Francisco Giants Logo Changed Over Time?

It is interesting to note that the New York Gothams had an embroidered patch on their uniforms. As such, this can be considered a logo of sorts for the baseball club from 1883 to 1885, though describing it is more than a bit difficult. In short, the patch featured an eagle with spread wings perched upon a coat of arms featuring the vanes of a windmill plus a pair of barrels and a pair of beasts. There are two individuals flanking the coat of arms, while the top boasts “New York” and the bottom boasts “League.”

Soon enough, the New York Giants started using a logo. The initial version was nothing more than a block-styled “N” and “Y,” which were situated at some distance from one another. By 1908, this had been replaced by a somewhat more complicated logo with the “N” and the “Y” interlocked in a vertical fashion, thus resulting in something that looked a great deal like the New York Yankees’ logo but with much more of a flourish to the letters. From 1908 to 1946, the New York Giants continued to use variations on this basic logo, which featured different colors as well as different borders. However, the one element that remained true throughout was the curl to the letters that enabled them to stand apart from those of the New York Yankees.

Eventually, the New York Giants started using an even more elaborate logo in 1947 that would continue to see use once the baseball team had become the San Francisco Giants in 1957. This was possible because the new, even more elaborate logo consisted of “Giants” printed at an upwards slant with a giant baseball serving as its background. As a result, when the baseball team moved from New York City to San Francisco, the one change was that the baseball was now rendered with a 2D look rather than the pseudo-3D look that preceded it.

It was in 1983 that the San Francisco Giants debuted a similar-looking but nonetheless different logo. This time around, the “Giants” moves from left to right rather than bottom left to top right, though there is an upward arc towards the middle. With minor variations, this logo is the one that continues to see use in the present time.

Final Thoughts

The latest version of the latest logo has been in use since 2000. As a result, it possesses plenty of longevity. Still, if the San Francisco Giants choose to make a change, it will be interesting to see whether they will stick with another version of the current logo or choose something else altogether.


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