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What 3 new MLB logos mean

At least three Major League Baseball teams will be sporting new logos and jerseys for the 2012 season and I thought it’d be interesting to look at what each says about the franchise.

The Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles are taking a throwback approach, while the Florida Miami Marlins are changing their name and heading off in an all-new direction. A little context here: All of these teams are in some state of rebuilding, or at least trying to make their way back to the playoffs. The most recent success was the 2003 Marlins, which won the World Series (not so much since). It’s also worth noting that the Jays and Orioles are in the unenviable position of being in the same division as two MLB elite teams and one really good team.

Toronto Blue Jays

Source: BlueJays.com

To me, this is the best redesign of the group. This logo is a refresh of the classic Blue Jays logo, which debuted with the team in 1977 and saw it through its greatest successes during back-to-back World Series wins in 1992 and ’93. The message, obviously, is to elicit those feelings of nostalgia that will hopefully become reality once again, sometime soon (though not at the expense of my Mariners).

Baltimore Orioles

Source: Orioles shop

This is more of a tweak than a complete logo rebuild: The team is putting this cartoon bird from the 70s and 80s back on its hats. The Orioles have maintained themselves as one of those “classic” teams that hardly ever changes its logo (see: Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc.) so this is no surprise. Still, the idea is the same as it is with Toronto — remind fans of a time when the team was a huge success (Baltimore’s last post-season success: advancing to the ALCS in 1997).

Miami Marlins

Source: MiamiMarlins.com

By far the most dramatic change is the Marlins’. Originally the Florida Marlins, the name change makes sense, since Florida has had two baseball teams (the other being the aforementioned “really good” Tampa Bay Rays) since 1998. It’s also to go along with the team’s move to a new stadium.

I find this move the most interesting because it essentially rebrands the team’s identity from Florida’s Team to Miami’s Team. Location-based name changes aren’t entirely uncommon (see: the California Anaheim Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim… no, wait, “of Anaheim” is still correct*), though I can’t say I’m really an expert in how effective they are. It’s tough to discern if everyone in Florida thinks of the Fish as the Miami Marlins anyway, but whatever the case, I think it was perfectly natural to rebrand for the stadium move.

Have thoughts of your own? Comment below.

*UPDATE: Apparently they’re still the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but whenever they’re referred to by MLB or anyone else, they’re called the Los Angeles Angels. Or, if you want to translate that, the The Angels Angels.

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