Pittsburgh Pirates to Have New Logo in 2014

Written By:  •  Wednesday, February 13, 2013

It’s Spring Training! Which means once again Pirates fans are already starting to look ahead to next season, but this time it’ll be because of a new logo.

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Monday night that they will be ditching the red bandana wearing pirate design they’ve been using as their primary logo for 16 of those 21 seasons in favour of a new look for the 2014 season. What won’t be changing, thankfully, is the gold “P” logo that’s adorned the Pirates caps nearly every season since 1948 (the colours of the “P” and the cap were reversed for a few seasons in the 1970s, but the logo was the same).

Pittsburgh Pirates alternate logo since 2010

“When people see the gold ‘P,’ they know it stands for Pirates, It’s something you don’t mess with.” – Pirates VP Louis DePaoli foreshadowing that the new logo will probably feature the P in some way.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, beginning this week the Pirates will bringing in four focus groups – season ticket holders, corporate partners, suite holders, and random groups of everyday fans.  These fans will be shown logos of Pirates past, asked their thoughts on what the new logo should include and a sketch artist will draw them up on the spot.  An interesting idea.

Pittsburgh Pirates logos of the past from 1936-2013

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been consistent in their primary branding since the 1930s, their logo always prominently featuring the head of a pirate, either crossed baseball bats or bones, their current logo being the only one in the bunch to not include a traditional pirate hat.

Now, I’m not much of a designer, but I’m going to go out on a limb and predict what we’ll see the Pirates using in 2014.  No this isn’t me leaking a new logo, this is just me going with the trends… my prediction as to what the new Pirates logo will look like in 2014 is:

Pittsburgh Pirates New Logo 2014 Concept

Let’s be honest, it’ll probably look something like this.

Yeah, I’m sure a real designer could’ve made it look prettier, but you get the idea.  A roundel like all the big boy teams are doing these days, an element from earlier Pirates teams updated to include the familiar mark alluded to by the VP earlier in the post.

Expect to see the new logo, whatever they end up going with, unveiled officially sometime in November.  As I’m sure you’re aware we’ll be covering this all season long.

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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at ccreamer@sportslogos.net

  • Brian in Boston

    What happened? Did Frank Zappa’s family finally decide to rescind permission to use his likeness?

    • Chris Creamer

      I’ll never un-see that again.

    • Ha! That’s great. I always thought he looked like Freddie Mercury.

      • Of course I’m speaking of the ’87-’96 version…

  • John Tyler III


  • man… why would they get rid of a cool logo?

  • Aaron

    If that circle logo with the Pirate is even legit, they would be smart to use it. A slightly modernized version of the original is what this team needs. And never change it again please.

    • Chris Creamer

      “If that circle logo with the Pirate is even legit”… The words in between the pictures in these articles are full of information.

  • Jumbotron

    bring back the mustache!

  • John ‘Jamie’ Myers

    It worked for the Orioles!

    • Jason

      And the Blue Jays (well, at least the new/old logo got them to spend…)

  • it sure did postseason 2014 here we come

  • Michael Jaworski

    I think they have a great logo. The pirate face looks fierce, and the P is instantly recognizable to fans. And they are better than the evil Steelers and Penguins!

  • Justin

    They should just change their logo to the Steelers. It’s the same colors. It might get better attendance.

  • capn jack sparrow!

  • Bryan Smalley

    This 2014 logo change guarantees one more year of futility!

  • Manuel Hernandez

    what i’m hoping is that the Pirates hav a much cooler logo than this one, cos i rly like this logo, and to make a new one just b/c of the losing seasons that they hav, and is still ongoing, rly saddens me, despite not being a Pirates fan.

  • Peter Riportella


  • Please god not another hat logo in a circle, the Rangers, Astros, Padres, Nationals have it covered

  • Swiss

    What, another new Pirates’ logo? The current one is wonderful, it’s needless to change it.

  • camly75

    So now, their logo will look exactly like San Diego/Minnesota/Seattle/Houston/Washington/Oakland/Texas/Toronto

  • Akub

    If they’re going to use a throwback at all, it’ll probably be the 1968-86 logo. That’s the famous “We Are Family” one. I’ve already seen some upgraded versions of it being thrown around on some forums. It’s a fan favorite.

  • KooL

  • Jimmy Kemp

    NO i like the Pirates logo, and they started wearing it in 1997, their losing streak began in 1993.

    • Michael Q.

      So they have never had a winning season with their current logo? Ouch!

  • Alex

    Although dated now, I like the direction the ’94 All Star Game logo took. There aren’t many diamond-shaped logos out there now for baseball which is really interesting. The parchment-style banners are unique, too. Forget the circle—go diamond!

  • ingmar66

    ’68-’86 updated is my favourite, he looks like a local news anchor dressed up for carnival at the office. I really like it, with the Treasure Island map (or is it a Wanted Dead Or Alive poster?) surrounding the logo, so unique! Just add a few 2014 updates. Give this small town Dan Rather a fu manchu moustache to go with his muscular jaw and cleft. Color the bandana underneath the hat red. Ditch the skull and bones on his hat and replace it with the P in gold. And you’ll have a classic. The older Pirate, as incorporated in the too trendy roundel by Chris (nice job, by the way) seems to be more of a gypsy fortune teller. Or Frank Zappa, indeed!

  • 54321

    Pirates have a top notch nickname & colour scheme… they deserve much better.

    Idea of a Brooklyn Nets style simplicity for the Pirates is screaming in my head lol… Less = More when the brand & colours sell themselves.

    They shouldn’t overlook other pirate branded logos (Raiders, Bucs) which are great as simplistics.

  • Jim Pericotti

    I’m sick of this politically correct garbage making people get rid of the logo because they’re butthurt or offended.

    We’re talking about the Braves, right?

  • As a Pirates fan, I have always liked this current version of the Bucco they use. I was always partial to the 80’s and 90’s version. That’s when Bonds, Bonilla, Van Slyke, Drabek all played. I will say I do like the idea of a change for merchandise. The Pirate head without the word mark looks great on its own. However, it doesn’t transition well to designs made for multiple teams. It’s really a moot point though because the “P” is the real logo. I will offer a different angle: tay away from Pirate faces with mustaches and go towards a Jolly Roger like logo. The phrase around here when they win is “Raise the Jolly Roger!”

  • Travis

    I hope its more like Bradenton’s logo

  • Thomas

    No! They already have a good logo and it’s not that old!

  • Bobby

    Why change the logo? This is one of the few things good about the Pirates.

  • PG

    Looks like the Soup Nazi with an earring and in a pirate hat

  • They should do something with the “Jolly Roger” similar to what the Tampa Bay Bucs did. Anything but the circle and simple logo, too many teams are simplifying everything that way.

  • Aaron

    Instead of the roundel logo, bring back the diamond logo.

  • madpanda

    Like what you did, Chris! I’m a fan of the treasure map..although it does need a tougher-looking pirate. In fact, if they do go with a roundel (please no!), then I’d love to see them do an alternate/shoulder patch with Pennsylvania in drawn on a treasure map with an “X” where Pittsburgh sits.

  • Jared

    They would most likely unveil the new logo at PirateFest in December but that’s just me guessing from the timeline you gave. Also I like the idea of a new logo, with the team starting to really turn around this gives pirate fans, like myself, something to really get excited about. And I wouldn’t care nor think they would make it the roundel type logo. They’ve always had a pirates head and that’s the way it should stay. Just modernize a old classic ie: 1987 or the one before

  • Dina Bonnevie


  • Nick

    Just ditch the red….their current is not a bad logo overall.

  • 1434

    Do they really need to have a cartoony drawing of a literal pirate to get across the point that the ball club is named “The Pirates”?

    Looking over every generation of pirate cartoon mascot, they all give me the queasy feeling I’m about to eat some really crappy fish and chips at a buccaneer themed restaurant for children.

    Ahoy matey!

    • Joe

      I agree. It always seems weird to me to have a human being’s face as part of a logo (Indians, Pirates, Blackhawks, Senators, Vikings, Patriots, Redskins, Celtics). It comes off as too cartooney.

  • ExileInDC

    The current logo looks like a road rage butch biker. You would hate that guy if you met him, on every level.

    A grinning skull and cross bones is the way to go, you see non-licensed versions all over the ballpark because it is a) simple, b) looks cool, and c) belongs on the Jolly Roger. So Raise the Jolly Roger and ditch the angry doorag dude.

    • Snakay

      I agree 100% with that comment. Two additional comments on the current logo, I dont like red trim around the Pirates word, and i dont like the Red on the bandana. the Pirates should stick to a 2 colour scheme, black and yellow (or gold depeding on how you look at it).

  • Rob Carlson

    As much as I love the old circle-with-words style of baseball logo, there are a lot of them now. (My beloved Nats are indeed offenders, but I don’t want ours to change 😛 )

    I actually like the skull-and-crossbone style bats that the Pirates use in the foundation for their current logo. Whether they go with a portrait, a letter, or words in the center, I think they should use either a diamond or bats as the frame. Now that the Orioles have gotten rid of theirs, I think only the Rays and the Phillies use diamonds/ballfields.

  • I’m glad to see that the “P” logo will still be used. As long as its future logo doesn’t have a circle like I’ve seen other franchises switch to, that would be a good thing.

  • Brian Castner

    As a Pirates fan of 30-ish years I’m a bit sad to see this logo go away. It’s by far my favorite of all their logos. But I’ll wait and see what they come up with. My big fear is they end up jumping on the retro trend and we see a logo/uniform set that looks like it belongs in the 70’s come back.
    If I have to watch bad baseball year after year they can at least look good while they get beat. I’ll be upset if they drop the red and go back to just black & gold as well. I always thought the addition of the red was a nice nod to the team’s blue & red days.

  • thomas

    should have done it for the 2013 season allready………..why wait another year…..smh

    • madpanda

      It’s the Pirates, Thomas…they always wait another year.

  • Max

    I hate the “since 1887” circle design in the logo

  • I would hate to see the Pirates put such an organically sophisticated shape like the Pirates head into a circle and trap all that lovely positive/negative space. Personally, the “P” ligature is so strong and recognizable that I’d switch their cap mark to their primary logo and let that be a true icon in the sports team branding landscape.

  • Patrick

    About time. They’ve never accomplished one winning season with their current logo. Change it. It must go.