Baltimore Orioles Unveil New Logo, Uniforms

birdland

Not to be outdone, the Baltimore Orioles have announced a change to their uniforms as well, looking to the past for inspiration.

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who like the Orioles' cartoon logo, and people who prefer ornithological detail on their baseball caps. The skirmishes between the two factions are nasty, brutish things, but for a long time there was peace. Now, the rivalry begins anew. The cartoon logo is back. From Sportslogos.net:

Coming back is the cartoon bird head which was featured prominently on the Orioles caps from 1966-1988, the logo is wider than the version worn in the 1980s and has been modernized slightly also to include the Orioles alternate "O’s" logo cap on the head of the oriole.  This means Orioles players would technically be wearing both cap logos on their heads at the same time for most games.

The logos, via MLB.com:


Looks like orange is still in, folks. Big, carroty swatches of orange. Eat those Cheetos and wipe your fingers on your jerseys, boys. Anything goes.

That's not the big change, of course. The orange alternate jersey has been around since 1989. The big change is the cartoon Oriole coming back. For years and years, the Orioles stuck with a realistic bird:


It's very oriole. The problem with that is that orioles are extremely boring birds. Don't let Neyer tell you differently. They're just … birds.

Orioles are monogamous, breeding in territorial pairs (although the Australasian Figbird, and possibly also the other figbirds, breed in loose colonies).[1] Nesting sites may be chosen near aggressive species such asdrongos, shrikes or friarbirds, which confer a degree of protection.

After reading the word "monogamous," I stopped paying attention. They don't take down snakes or varmints, and they don't feast on rotting carcasses all creepy-like. They eat seeds and fly.

There's no way to make a bird like that cool when going against a tiger, but most of the time the bird is going up against something equally as silly, such as a pair of siblings or colored socks. The cartoony way is the right way, then. Embrace the goofiness. A history of Orioles cartoon birds:


That one is called the "I ATE SOME MORE BECAUSE I WASN'T FEELING ANYTHING AND OH GOD IS THAT 'RUBBER SOUL' YOU SHOULD PLAY THAT BACKWARDS" logo. According to Sportslogos.net, it actually predates the familiar cartoon bird.

 


That was the first of the familiar cartoon birds, introduced in 1966. The next one was similar, but with an oddly thinned out skull.

 

In 1967, they had this one, which I used to dislike:

But now I get it. Anyone can pretend to be insane with anger while walking towards you with a bat. But it takes a legitimately insane person to walk towards you with a roll of butcher paper while wearing a hat with a picture of themselves during happier times on it. You can't fake that kind of insanity. Kind of freaky. You don't want to stick around to see what the butcher paper is for. It only lasted a season, probably because it terrified the children.


That's the current one. Very retro, and considering the recent history of the franchise, a little nostalgia is probably a healthy thing. There was a time when the Orioles meant something more than Larry Bigbie or 34 different variations of Larry Bigbie. Reminding us of that is a good idea, as is reminding us of the Orioles, which they've already done with the logo change.

The most important part of the logo change, though, is that it came with that "This is Birdland" slogan up there, which reminded me that this .gif exists:


I wish I could take credit for that, but I'm not sure who did it. All I know is that it's the greatest animated image that the internet has ever produced, and I'm not sure why. So even if you don't care for the cartoon bird, you can at least appreciate that the cartoon bird change led to you watching that .gif right now.

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