Another week, another set of rankings. Your team is far, far too low. You should get really angry about it. Send an e-mail! Send an e-mail to my editor! Send several! Because the more e-mails you send, the better your team will play. This is true with every power rankings ever. Science.
This week, the rankings are based on the worst logo in a team's history. The only rules are that the logo has to be from the same city as the team plays in now, and that alternate logos aren't to be used unless they're funny.
This post couldn't have been done without Chris Creamer's sportslogos.net, which is a great place to kill a few hours.
1. Kansas City Royals - 2002-present
The general rule of thumb is that the more classic the logo, the higher it will rank. Other, more historic franchises have had the same logo for longer, but the Royals vault to the top because they stuck with the same basic theme for their logo, and they held steady from their infancy through the weirdness of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. It still came out cool and respected on the other side. The Martin Scorsese of logos.
2. New York Yankees - 1947-present
It's classic, but it’s a little odd. Anyone who has ever worn that hat was killed by a Soviet boxer, so I’m not sure why they’d want to celebrate it.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers - 1958-present
Classic and unchanged, so it’s hard to dig into it, but it really bothers me that the ball is going to be caught by the shortstop. Who makes a pop-up their logo?
4. Colorado Rockies - 1993-present
Better. That ball is going over the fence. Or it’s coming from the other direction, and it’s going to hit that sea monkey in the head. It’s only below the Dodgers because a) it’s not as classic, and b) purple.
5. Houston Astros - 1975-1993
For as much guff as the Astros' ‘70s uniforms get, the logos were kind of cool. They have baseballs in orbit, a nod to science. Baseball is usually a little wary of science, so we'll take what we can get. And the logo includes the Astrodome, one of the modern wonders of the world -- a permanent fixture on the baseball landscape that will never, ever, ever go away.
6. Minnesota Twins - 1961-present
The Twins have logos with two giant twins shaking hands over a bridge, and they're a little too weird and literal, but they're also kind of neat, and the Twins have even brought it back for Target Field. This one, though, made me stare at baseball cards when I was five and wonder where the "C" came from. Why wasn’t it "MT?" This was the life of a child before Wikipedia, and it was horrific. It screwed me up for years.
7. Los Angeles Angels - 1971-1972
Not too shabby, but it’s a reminder that the Angels were once the team of a state before they were the team of a city before they were the team of a city that they didn’t play in. Plus, it’s funny that someone thought, "Wait, why isn’t that ‘a’ capitalized? Susan, get in here!" before changing it the next season.
8. San Francisco Giants - 1983-1993
It’s not that this is the most ‘80s logo. It is, of course. It’s a puffy, friendly kind of ‘80s -- it might make you want to jog in short shorts, but it isn’t going to make you want to trade arms or junk bonds. But it replaced a classic script logo that had been in place since the ‘40s, and the Giants never went back. That’s a shame.
9. Texas Rangers - 1983
A one-season wonder. Even people in Texas thought, wait, those letters are too big. Hold on there. And you know there’s a guy named Tony Randolph who owns a Buick dealership out in Plano, and he still rocks that logo in the form of a custom belt buckle
10. San Diego Padres - 1969-1984
For a cartoon friar in flip-flops surrounded by stomach-flu colors, this is about as good as one can expect, really. It’s also cleanly limited to the appropriate era -- someone in 1984 said, "Hey, Hal, did you ever really look at this thing?" A lot of people said that about a lot of things in the early ‘80s.
11. St. Louis Cardinals - 1956-1966
There’s no real way to make a cardinal cool. Every other Cardinals logo recognizes this. All of the other logos have a bat, and there’s a bird or two on it. The less time you had to think about the logo, the more time you had to think about Stan Musial, and that’s a good thing. But don’t make the bird swing the bat. He’s going to get killed because a) he’s on a stick, so he’s obviously a normal-size bird, and the ball will crush him, and b) he’s obviously blind.
12. Atlanta Braves - 1972-1979
"It should look strong. Current."
"I don’t know -- isn’t it kind of abstract?"
"It should look strong. Current. Evocative."
"Okay, okay. We’ll try it out."
"It should look strong. Current. Evocative. It should smell like Bob Horner."
"What’s a bob horner?"
"Something from my vision quest. You wouldn’t understand. I haven’t slept for a week. Help me to my car."
13. Oakland Athletics - 1968-1982
Throughout the ‘70s, they were the "Swingin’ A’s." Mm-hmm. There were also a pair of cleats. White. They were left at the key party, and someone thought putting them on the logo was the best way to find their owner.
14. Chicago White Sox - 1976-1990
Other logos were either script or socks. Either you ignore the socks, or you focus on them. Commit one way or the other. You don’t make the logo some amorphous shape-man with red batting gloves that were made from a lump of flesh taken from under his armpit.
15. Washington Nationals - 2005-2010
Had to use an alternate because they haven’t been around long enough to get weird, so they’ll just take up temporary residence here in the middle. This alternate logo looks like something that would be on a super hero costume. The super hero’s name would be The Lobbyist, and his only super powers would be buying you a really nice lunch, taking a little of your time, and running the free world.
16. Toronto Blue Jays - 2003
Another one-season wonder. It’s not that the world wasn’t ready for mischievous, tattooed birds with thumbs, it’s that the world wasn’t ready for mischievous, tattooed birds with thumbs from another country. That’s just too much, post-9/11.
17. Baltimore Orioles - 1967
No. First, that’s clearly a rolled up tube of butcher paper. Second, you’re several inches tall, and you have fragile little bones. Third, you’re wearing a hat with a picture of yourself all friendly-like. Just hang out on some bats like the cardinal. People will call your bluff.
18. Cincinnati Reds - 1954-1959
This one kicked off the "Creepy Mascot Logo" craze, and this fellow is clearly villainous -- look at the handlebar mustache. That’s nature’s way of letting you know something is either Rollie Fingers or evil. When you see something like this running, it’s usually accompanied by one neighbor screaming, and another one calling the police.
19. Chicago Cubs - 1908-1914/1927-1936
On two different occasions, the team went with a "Young, Happy Bear Discovering That His Body Is Going Through Changes" logo. The first one came with a World Series victory, but it also came with a curse. And a restraining order.
20. New York Mets - 1963-1970
The official one is pretty cool, but this alternate is beyond creepy. Get a closer look. This is the sort of thing that you look at for a while before waking up on a subway car covered in blood that isn’t your own. The only memories you have are the first whispers when there wasn’t anyone else around.
21. Milwaukee Brewers - 1994-1999
Here because of what it followed. The original one is creepy and magnificent -- some sort of steampunk barrel man, and it’s beautiful. The one that lasted through the ‘80s was brilliant - it was an "M" and a "B" that formed a Voltron glove of branding. An older, drunker Don Draper came up with it, and it’s perfect. This one from the late-‘90s looked like a bunch of steel girders making out.
22. Seattle Mariners - 1987-1992
First rule of logos: If you’re going to get rid of a trident, you’d better have a damned good reason. First-letter-apostrophe-last-letter is not that reason. When the person who fought for that change is eventually punished by Greek gods, at least we know what they’ll be poked with.
23. Detroit Tigers - 1927-1928
Why is he so sad? You’d think the sixth-grader who drew him would be happy that he won the contest, but, no. The most emo logo ever, and it’s not close. Someone take those claws away from emo tiger -- he’s going to cut his favorite band's name into his arm to prove a point!
24. Tampa Bay Rays - 1998-2000
There are six colors in that logo that have less to do with baseball than the Pro Bowl. Congratulations, Tampa Bay: you didn’t even exist in the ‘70s or ‘80s, but you still wound up with the stupidest color scheme of all.
25. Cleveland Indians - 1915-1920
Look at that! It’s a "C"! It’s so, so boring. Why, it’s so boring that it’s offensive. Yes, offensive. That has to be the most offensive logo they could come up with. I’m not even looking at the rest. That’s the winner. So offensive. Just a single letter, can you imagine?
26. Florida Marlins - 1993-present
It’s kind of cheating to penalize the logo for the team colors. But when you get down to it, this logo for a baseball team is teal, and it has a fish on it. But it's really down this far because of the negative bonus points for the team name being rotated annoyingly. Someone looked at this ...
... and said, no, no, that’s too easy. There is no magic in that logo! No mystery!
27. Boston Red Sox - 1950-1959
It’s more of a Rorschach test than a logo, and my subconscious says it looks like some sort of Jay Leno-themed archipelago.
28. Arizona Diamondbacks - 2007- present
Not terrible, but it’s annoying that someone -- doesn’t matter if it’s an owner or a PR flack -- looked at the one from 2007, snapped their fingers, and said "Wait, that team name on the logo needs fangs!" Then they spent time, effort, and company money to convince people of fangs. There were e-mails going back and forth about the change. There was probably a focus group. No one said, "Look, you missed your chance at fangs when the first one came out. You blew it. Let it go." The person who fought for the fangs won. That’s just not right.
29. Pittsburgh Pirates - 1936-present - Tie
Anything with a cartoon pirate caricature is awful. If you ever go drinking backwards through time, be careful: you’ll think you’re going to bed with 1968, but you’ll wake up next to 1967. I chose the one up there because it looks like the worst optical illusion of all-time. Like, okay, I see the Pirate. Kind of. But if I turn my head the other way, do I see an old lady? A rabbit? A station wagon? Dammit, tell me! What is it? TELL ME.
30. Philadelphia Phillies - 1970-1983
It’s a boy and a girl. They’re from the 18th-century. And he’s tossing a ball up, and she’s looking it it. He’s like, "Hey, fancy a game?" And she’s like, "I would, but the baseball field hasn’t been invented yet." And he's like, "That’s okay! Neither have trousers!"
5/24 - Annoying people
5/17 - Song titles
5/10 - Hair metal bands
5/3 - Sitcom locations
4/24 - Team names