The Origin of the Dodgers Interlocking LA Logo

LA Dodgers Cap

The Los Angeles Dodgers are three wins away, with three games at home coming up, from winning their first pennant in twenty-seven years. The boys in blue have won nine NL titles and five World Series since moving to the west coast in 1958, and they’ve done so wearing the same ball cap every time.

That cap features an interlocking “L” and “A” in white on an all blue cap. The blue cap with white lettering is a carry-over from their days as the Brooklyn Dodgers where the team wore the exact same uniform only with a white “B” in place of the “LA” on the cap.

Recently logo designer Todd Radom tweeted out this fascinating letter (fascinating to folks like us, anyways) from the sporting goods manufacturer responsible for hand-crafting the Dodgers uniforms from shortly after the team announced their move to California:

LA Dodgers Letter 1957

In it, Tim McAuliffe of the Boston-based athletic equipment company writes to Dodgers’ PR director Arthur (Red) Patterson commenting on the two different cap logos the team had been considering. Saying someone in the Brooklyn office requested a logo in which the “lower bar of the L” acts “as the cross bar of the A”. McAuliffe drew what he imagined that would look like in the upper-right of the letter and while it’s a little crude it’s largely what the team ended up implementing.

The Dodgers cap has stayed nearly identical for over 50 years
The LA Dodgers cap has stayed nearly identical for over 50 years

McAuliffe, for what it’s worth, suggested the team go with two letters standing “out by themselves”, not interlocked in any way. I can’t say I agree with Mr. McAuliffe on that one, it seems that fella in Brooklyn knew what they were talking about here.

The interlocking “LA”, while not noted in this letter, was also used previously by the Los Angeles Angels Pacific Coast League minor league team as far back as the 1920s as this collection of 1923 trading cards shows:

Los Angeles Angels PCL 1923

Those Angels (not the same franchise as the current LA Angels of Anaheim) also wore McAuliffe’s suggestion on their caps circa 1950 and, nope, they couldn’t top the interlocking “LA” of the Dodgers:

LA Angels 1950

Although this version, from  the early 1940s isn’t that bad:

(photo of a modern reproduction)
(photo of a modern reproduction)

Worth noting, the Los Angeles Dodgers have played around with this logo over their half-century in Los Angeles, the tweaks are so subtle you’d never would have noticed if I didn’t place them side-by-side (and you may still not even notice them).

Take a look:

Dodgers Cap logo evolution

It’s gotten a little heftier over the years, the shade of blue has darkened a touch. The most recent tweak in 2012 saw the serif at end of the “L” shortened in size ever-so-slightly. You can see the differences here, again, that L is the only real noticeable change:

Dodgers logo overlay

 

The Dodgers resume their best-of-seven National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs tomorrow night, the series is currently tied at one game each.