Thursday, October 28, 2010

The MLB "Batter Man" Logo

In 1992, Major League Baseball had two official on-field cap suppliers; New Era and Sports Specialties. I'm not sure who's idea it was or why, but the two cap companies decided to add the MLB "batter man" logo to their caps. The two colors on each side of the batter man would be the two main colors of each team.

It appears at first the logo appeared on the side of the caps. I have never seen a New Era cap like this but I have seen several Sports Specialties caps. Also in the early days the logo was not embroidered straight on to the cap; it was a simply a patch glued onto the cap.


A pre-first season Marlins cap with the logo on the side.


Circa 1992 MLB logo "patch".

Sports Specialties apparently experimented with single-color MLB logos.



In 1994 after New Era became the exclusive cap supplier, on-field caps came with gold pins in the MLB logo's place to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Major League Baseball.



For years the logo remained unchanged on the backs of caps until the switch to polyester caps in 2007. The logo is now embossed instead of being flat.


Old style embroidery.


New style embroidery.

I'm not sure of the "official" name of the MLB logo. I just refer to it as the "batter man" since a New Era employee I once spoke to over the phone called it that. A friend of mine believes the logo is based on Harmon Killebrew. Any thoughts?

12 comments:

  1. An important part you missed is that when the logo started being embossed it also started using team colors instead of the red, white, and blue color scheme. Same for minor league baseball.

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    1. For completeness' sake, I have a Brewers on-field from 2005, from before batterman was embossed. It's in team colors.
      https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=BC63C60482D5C417!9718
      I think the sequence was:
      Green Brim no batterman logo
      Green Brim + red/white/blue Batterman OR Grey Brim + red/white/blue Batterman: 1992
      Grey Brim + Team Color Batterman: ??? (late 90s?)
      Black Brim + Team Color Batterman (both very tall): 2007

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. I wanted to add to my comment, but it wouldn't let me edit it... so I deleted it and will try again:

      I have what I believe is a 1994 Marlins cap (all teal incl. button and outer brim; grey under brim w/ 1994-1996 tagging) with the teal/navy MLB logo. Also, the Marlins cap shown above with the logo on the side has a teal/navy logo, so I'd think the change from RWB was either left to the team or occurred earlier than late-90s.

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  2. Ah I see. I just thought that goes without saying, but now that someone brought it up I should probably put that in there. Thanks!

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  3. I'm no expert but I've never seen these caps with batter man logoman for use on the field. I just thought these were basic fan product stuff.
    Anyway, here is a good read on the "batter"
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=lukas/081105

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  4. The man who made the logo Mr.Dior said this,"That's completely untrue. It's not Harmon Killebrew. It's not anyone in particular."

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  5. I think it was based on the profile of a bufflehead bay duck. That's what it looks like to me, anyway.

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  6. I believe it's supposed to be Pete Rose. Back in the day, This Week in Baseball closed with an MLB notice with an animated silhouette figure that sure looked like Rose adopting his batting stance before it froze into the MLB logo (complete with ball). I also read a reference to it being Rose somewhere within the context of the controversies surrounding him despite the fact that he (once) literally was the symbol for MLB.

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  7. Hi my name is Chris, I'm a freelance writer. I'm putting an article together about baseball caps, and I was wondering if you were interested in been interviewed? By the way, I really enjoy your blog. Please let me know either way, thanks. Here's my email wordplaycm@gmail.com
    I look forward to hearing from you.

    ReplyDelete
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  9. The position and angle of the bat before the pitch is released, as well as the stance, head angle, and knee bend, can be different from hitter to hitter. axial sports

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