The Baltimore Orioles played their first season in the American League in 1954 after spending fifty seasons in St. Louis as the Browns. In their nearly 70 years since moving to Baltimore, the Orioles have won three World Series championships and six American League pennants.
I mean, that’s great and all, but after all these years we still haven’t decided what the best Baltimore Orioles logo of all-time is.
Before we get to that, a quick Orioles history lesson…
How did the Orioles Get Their Team?
The Baltimore Orioles officially returned to Major League Baseball on September 29, 1953, after the seven other American League owners unanimously approved the sale and relocation of the St. Louis Browns to Maryland for the 1954 season.
The team had been purchased by a local syndicate from Browns owner Bill Veeck who had earlier that year tried to relocate the club to Baltimore. His bid was shot down as it was made too close to the start of the ’53 season and the league felt the Browns could still make things work in St. Louis. And yes, that’s why pencils have erasers.
Why are the Baltimore Orioles called the Orioles?
The Orioles got their name from the International League’s Baltimore Orioles who had played from 1904-’53. A few other pro baseball teams prior also shared the name including an original American League team which played from 1901-’02. The first pro ball team to use the name was way back in November 1882, wearing orange and black striped caps and socks.
Ultimately today’s Orioles are named after the Baltimore oriole, the state bird of Maryland, and yes it’s actually known as the Baltimore oriole, city name included. A Baltimore oriole is a small black-and-orange bird that can be found throughout the eastern half of North America. The bird gets its name from a similar-looking (yellow, not orange) bird called the oriolidae, which itself gets its name from the Latin word “aureolus” or “golden”.
Baltimore Orioles Logo History
Here we’ll take a look at each of the Baltimore Orioles’ primary logos throughout their history (or you can watch the quick Orioles logo history video above). Following the logo history presented below, you’ll see a poll where you can vote on the best primary logo in Orioles team history.
The Orioles’ original logo was used from 1954 to 1965. It featured an adorable little black and orange oriole wearing a cap and smiling while perched on top of a ball.
In 1966 the Orioles changed to a logo more familiar to fans of the team. A cartoon oriole swinging a baseball bat inside a circle. This logo remained for over two decades and was used for all three of the Orioles World Series championships.
The Orioles went all-in on the traditional when it came to their uniforms in 1989 but the old cartoon logo stuck still around until it was finally replaced for the 1992 season. A more realistic oriole was now the focus, sitting on the dot above the letter ‘i” in “Orioles”.
The logo was tweaked a bit in 1995, the script was altered and the entire logo was placed on a green baseball diamond. The oriole was also flipped to face the opposite way.
In 1998 the Orioles opted for an even more realistic bird on their logo, keeping the baseball diamond behind and team script as it was.
Just one year later, this logo was subtly tweaked to remove second base from the diamond as well as the bird itself – most noticeably in its face, legs, wing, and tail.
Ten years later, in 2009 the ball diamond was removed and the oriole again was tweaked to increase its authenticity. The beigey/yellowy colour was eliminated entirely and replaced with grey.
Finally in 2019, seven years after they’d already put it back on the team’s caps, the Orioles again made the cartoon bird their primary logo. The bird was now missing its body and no longer placed in a circle, it also got itself a new cap, an Orioles alternate “O’s” cap that the club had been wearing since 2005.
Now that you’ve seen the entire Baltimore Orioles logo history, it’s time for you to help pick the best Orioles logo of all-time.
Oh, and be sure to also check out our Baltimore Orioles complete logo, uniform, and cap history right here at SportsLogos.Net.
Vote for the Greatest Orioles Logo Ever
Because there’s so much overlap in logo styles across various team histories, I’m allowing people to choose their top two logos in each of these polls. This will hopefully eliminate vote-splitting between similar designs, which could’ve otherwise allowed a more unique, but overall less popular logo, to sneak through place higher than it should (yes, I put some thought into this, we’re very serious about this logo stuff here!). If you genuinely think only one of these logos deserves the title of their greatest logo ever, please just choose one!
UPDATE (July 8/20 – 4pm ET)
The polls are now closed! And with over 6000 votes cast, we have determined our final rankings! Thanks to all who cast their vote and had their say.
Check out the final results here: