Recommended Posts

I've always had an odd fascination with the old St. Louis Browns. Partially because of their historic ineptitude on the field, but mostly due to the intriguing lack of a strong visual identity. Much like their NFL counterparts, the team primarily relied on text-based logos and monograms throughout most of their history. Recently, I was browsing the book, St. Louis Browns: The Story of a Beloved Team, and came across the image below.

 

spacer.png

 

The caption says it's from 1937 when new Browns owner Donald Barnes launched a campaign that included fan submissions to find a new logo for the team. They'd eventually settle on a pretty nice looking shield. But all the various options presented are pretty astounding, especially for that era.

 

There's plenty of elfin options, perhaps foreshadowing the only real graphical caricature the team would officially adopt in their final years before packing up for Baltimore. Others that suggest a completely different team identity like the anchor and rope mark just above Bill DeWitt's head (man on the left), silhouette of two bears(?) on top of a ball, a griffin(?), a bulldog and something with a "Brown-Eagles" crest. Most bizarre of the bunch by far has to be the disembodied bulging arm wielding a bat. A few more options feature generalized baseball imagery. Swinging batters, balls and bats feature prominently.

 

Personally, my favorites are the stylized "B" inside the diamond behind DeWitt, the scrawling "Brownies" wordmark between the two men and the art deco style wordmark on top of the bat in the dead center. Even the "Browns" inside the circle around the swinging batter isn't bad. It has a sort of baseball equivalence to the Cleveland Browns plain football helmet logo.

 

Anyways, thought this was an especially interesting behind the scenes look at the design process for an underwhelming 1930's baseball team. Would a more "exciting" logo have kept the team from moving to Baltimore? No way. But it's fun to think what could have been.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a great find.

 

The Brownies logo reminds me a little bit of this (or at least the B does).

 

spacer.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@leopard88 Yeah, it made me think of a Blue Moon beer label. Maybe there's an underlying connection with brewing and therefore St. Louis (even if Blue Moon is from Colorado).

 

spacer.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That might even be a better connection given the curve of the rest of the text.

 

Overall, I have always loved the shield logo that they adopted.  Among the other choices, the ones I like the best are the art deco wordmark over a bat in the middle and the winged ball with wordmark on the far right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@leopard88 - Yeah, I've come to really like that shield, especially after learning about the symbolism involved with the stripes, stars and Apotheosis. That combined with the jersey sets from the early 1940's featuring the logo-less caps, colored and striped headspoons and shoulder yoke stripes (coinciding with their best seasons on the field) are what really drew me to the Browns in the first place. 

 

@thebigeh - I really like the primary logo and the fauxback uniform. As people mentioned in your original thread, it's pretty jarring to see the fleur di leis associated with a team other than the New Orleans Saints, but it makes sense give its ties to the city of St. Louis. In an alternate universe, does an earlier Browns' adoption of the fleur di leis force the Saints to eventually adopt a totally different identity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, BayBaseballFan said:

@leopard88 - Yeah, I've come to really like that shield, especially after learning about the symbolism involved with the stripes, stars and Apotheosis.

 

Teach me more.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BayBaseballFan said:

@thebigeh - I really like the primary logo and the fauxback uniform. As people mentioned in your original thread, it's pretty jarring to see the fleur di leis associated with a team other than the New Orleans Saints, but it makes sense give its ties to the city of St. Louis. In an alternate universe, does an earlier Browns' adoption of the fleur di leis force the Saints to eventually adopt a totally different identity?

I highly doubt it. They were in different sports, and hundreds of miles apart. There are plenty of teams that have used the fleur-di-leis as a part of their branding at the same time. The Nordiques also used the fleur-di-leis as a part of their branding during their time in Quebec.
 

They’ve all had French influence in their history, so it makes sense that the fleur-di-leis is a part of their brandings...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@leopard88 - It's nothing too hidden or obscure, but the nine combined orange and brown stripes represent the players on a baseball team and the eight stars represent all the teams of the American League, at that time. As someone not from St. Louis, I had no clue about the Apotheosis. It dates back to the 1904 World's Fair and was the city's primary visual symbol prior to the Arch.

 

@chcarlson23 - That's a good point on the Nordiques. And to a lesser degree the Pelicans also use it now. I guess in the modern context I've just gotten so used to it being the predominant primary logo for the Saints it's sort of hard to imagine another team making it their primary mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, BayBaseballFan said:

@leopard88 - It's nothing too hidden or obscure, but the nine combined orange and brown stripes represent the players on a baseball team and the eight stars represent all the teams of the American League, at that time. As someone not from St. Louis, I had no clue about the Apotheosis. It dates back to the 1904 World's Fair and was the city's primary visual symbol prior to the Arch.

 

Thank you.  This is the part I didn't know.  I was assuming there was a more direct St. Louis connection, not something this straightforward..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.