The San Diego Padres are taking a look back as they celebrate their 50th anniversary season coming up in 2019, the commemorative logo for the milestone was unveiled officially by the team this afternoon at their annual FanFest event.
Joining the National League as an expansion franchise in 1969, the Padres began life wearing brown-and-yellow uniforms, the now-famous “Swingin’ Friar” was the focal point of the young club’s identity where it was featured on their original primary logo. Today, that original Friar returns, with some minor tweaks, for 2019 as the main element of the new 50th anniversary logo.
“We’re currently in the process of testing logos, uniform combinations and colour schemes via market research, and the Swingin’ Friar logo tested off the charts with our fans”, San Diego Padres Chief Marketing Officer Wayne Patrello told SportsLogos.Net in an email. “They really responded to him, so we modernized and refined the logo to serve as the centrepiece of the fiftieth-anniversary design. The subtle updates are more in line with contemporary embroidery standards.”
Above the updated friar is an archway, rendered to mimic the archway which welcomes you to San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, the architecture of the various historic California Missions found throughout the city, as well as features of the Padres home stadium, Petco Park. Behind the friar is a golden 50, gold is also used as a trim colour around the entire logo – the addition of gold signifies the traditional designation of the 50th as the “Golden Anniversary”.
The new logo will be worn on the right sleeve of the Padres jerseys as well as the right side of their caps throughout the 2019 season.
Designed by Brian Gundell, there are three different colourways of the logo to match the different colour schemes the Padres currently wear. The main blue-and-gold version of the logo will be worn on the home, road, alt blue, and blue camo jerseys, there’s one in brown and gold worn exclusively for the brown camouflage uniform, and finally, one in brown, yellow, and gold set aside just for their special brown/yellow throwback-inspired alternate uniform.
“We worked with Brian Gundell, a logo specialist, on Trevor Hoffman’s Hall of Fame logo and loved the results of that project,” Patrello explained, “so we engaged him on our 50th Anniversary venture as well.” Gundell had previously designed logos for the Spokane Empire, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, as well as one-half of the team working on the new Baseball New Zealand logo in a project featured on SportsLogos.Net.
While no throwback uniforms will be worn by the club in 2019, the team will be hosting special promotional giveaways and experiences relating to the 50th anniversary as well as a dedicated 50th Anniversary Weekend, details of these promotions will be released later this month.
“The Padres and the Padres Foundation have partnered with fellow community fixture, the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, to express our gratitude and make a positive impact on the San Diego community through our 50th Anniversary Padres Thank SD initiative.”, Patrello added. “As a long-standing partner of the club, Sycuan and the Padres Foundation, along with several local charities, will support charitable projects totalling over one million dollars during 2019.”
So with all this looking back being done throughout the year, is there a chance the team could return to their original colour scheme full-time in 2020?
“As our Executive Chairman, Ron Fowler, commented earlier this week, we’re still in the middle of our uniform research project”, Patrello said, “but we are giving strong consideration to brown and gold in 2020. It’s what the fans want, and we don’t make our decisions in a vacuum. We want our fans to be passionate about the Padres, and they are certainly passionate about brown.”