Welcome one, welcome all, to the first post in LOGO MONTH, a celebration (and denigration) of all things logos. We have taken a look at a lot of logos in our short time here at The Outside Corner, and today, we’re going to take a look at the ten worst MLB logos of all-time. These are in no particular order. To be on the list, a logo had to have been used by a major league team for at least a season, as either a primary cap logo, sleeve logo, or chest logo on a team’s jersey. We’re not going to be looking at any random alternates that got used, just the major ones. Keep in mind, there is a distinct separation between a bad logo and a time period where people weren’t as creatively advanced as they are today. So, without any further ado….here are ten of the worst logos in MLB history!
Toronto Blue Jays (alternate, 2000-2002, primary 2003)
The Blue Jays first logo was a classic, and it stayed with the team until 1996. Then, they rebranded, but kept the spirit of the original logo alive and modernizing the font. And then, for a year….they went with this. I don’t even know what the hell they were thinking. A baseball playing bird with biceps, hiding being an absurdly giant (and red…) T. This logo lasted as the primary for just a year, before Toronto went with the black color scheme with the fierce looking blue jay that they kept until just a couple of weeks ago, when they went retro. At least this didn’t get brought back.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays (1998-2000)
The Devil Rays inaugural season was in 1998, and they sure made a splash with this multi-colored monstrosity. Much like the hideously bright colored logo of their expansion-mates in Arizona, the first Devil Rays logo was marred by a mishmash of colors that didn’t seem to really work well together. The technocolor mess lasted for three years, before the management scaled things back to just a couple of colors. Then, the team completely rebranded in 2008 to one of the league’s slicker logos (and a less “offensive” name, dropping the “Devil”), and they actually began to play like a competent baseball team. Imagine that.
Milwaukee Brewers (1994-1999)
This logo is a blotch on a history of great Brewers logos. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the debut season of this logo was the strike year, do you? This logo was also around when the Brewers switched from the AL to the NL, where Milwaukee experienced a decade of futility before breaking through in 2008. But why does this logo suck? It replaced the iconic ball and glove logo, and preceded the very solid logo that Milwaukee has now, it’s got an ugly shade of green featured prominently, and of course….crossed bats. Crossed bats are rarely a good thing.
Houston Astros (1975-1993)
Some people like this logo. I think it’s disgusting. The color scheme is hideous, it prominently features a ballpark that was a marvel in it’s own time, the font is ugly, and the orbiting baseball are a tacky touch. This screams “1980s” to me…I could see it on a box of cereal. The Houston franchise as a whole suffered through crappy logos until 2000, when their current red star outline made its debut. And even that isn’t too great.
Oakland Athletics (cap 1999-2006)
Crossed bats. The iconic Athletics elephant wearing sunglasses that looked like an amateur Photostop artist put them on the logo. A sun in the background for some reason. This isn’t even cool in the ironic sense. It’s just….ugly, cheesy, corny, tacky, whatever you want to say. How did this survive for seven years? At least it wasn’t the “every day” logo….
Baltimore Orioles (cap 1999-2008)
Well, it doesn’t look menacing. It’s not cartoonish. This looks like it should be in a museum exhiibit, showing the patrons what the typical oriole in the wild looks like. It’s not a good logo, because it doesn’t make me care about the team at all. It’s so plain and boring, and not in a good way at all.
Anaheim Angels (1997-2001)
This is why Disney is evil. Crossed bats! Periwinkle blue! A winged A! Every time I discussed this piece with the staff of the site, Garrett from Monkey With a Halo would scream to the high heavens that this logo needed to be included. Well, here you go Garrett. I don’t think it’s a coincidence at all that the year in which the Angels switched back to an A with a halo around it, they won the World Series. Halos = money. Wings = pity.
Chicago White Sox (1976-1990)
I don’t even know what this is supposed to signify. I think of the current White Sox logo as an abolute classic, and then there’s….this….thing. What’s with the batter with super long arms? This White Sox logo is perhaps more famous for spawning more of the most hideous uniforms known to mankind. And hey, Tony La Russa got his start with this on his uniform. Horrifying, really.
Detroit Tigers (1961-1993)
Just like the current White Sox logo, I think of the Tigers old English D as an all-time classic. But this is what the Tigers called a logo for 32 years…the tiger’s face in it just makes me laugh, and it’s plagued by something that claimed a lot of logos in the last quarter of the 20th century: the need for a circular logo. Detroit replaced this with the old English D with a more menacing tiger walking through it in 1994, then ditched that in favor of the D alone in 2005. It almost looks like the tiger in this logo just walked in on something that he absolutely should not be seeing…like Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame. BA-ZING!
Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2006)
The lasting memory I’ll have of this logo is Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling leaving bodies in their wake in the 2001 playoffs, but man….purple and teal in the same logo. It’s like we’ve been transported to logo hell. It’s worth noting that all but one of the last four expansion teams have already changed their logo already. The one who hasn’t, the Colorado Rockies, were the only one to not feature teal. Just sayin.