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Yankees logo origin disputed


Waffles

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From The New York Times:

Could the New York Yankees’ famous “bat in the hat” emblem — perhaps the most famous logo in sports — have first been scrawled on a bar napkin around 1947 at the 21 Club, for a team owner who had bellied up to the bar?

That is the claim put forth by the family of Sam Friedman, an artist employed at 21 during the ’40s and ’50s, a time when Dan Topping, a co-owner of the Yankees, was a regular patron.

“Topping said, ‘I love it — that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, that’s my new logo,’ ” said Jack Friedman, 64, who claims that his great-uncle Sam Friedman created the logo. “It was all done on a napkin at the bar at the 21 Club.”

Sam Friedman died in the 1960s and, outside his own friends and family, was never recognized as its creator. The emblem has long been credited to Henry Alonzo Keller, a prolific sports illustrator who lived in Bronxville and worked in New York City designing programs for the Yankees and hundreds of other teams and sporting events.

Family members of Mr. Keller, who died in 1995 and was known as Lon, dismiss the bar napkin claim and maintain that their father designed the logo.

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The article goes on to mention that it is believed Keller himself was involved in the crafting of the Mets logo without receiving credit.

I love stories like these. Maybe I've been watching too much Mad Men lately, or I'm just an alcoholic, but I wish more creative business was conducted in a haze of informality and intoxication at swanky bars. Also, I love the name "bat in the hat".

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I think the writer has the popularity/notoriety of the bat in the hat logo confused with the NY monogram.

That said, yeah, I guess it'll be interesting to see where this story ends up going.

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I don't know about that, Bucco - the top hat logo itself is pretty well-known.

Reading the whole article, there's something about the Friedman family's story which doesn't quite ring true. I find it suspicious that Dan Topping would have been so specific about his requirements - "a logo that included the Yankees name, a bat, a ball and patriotic-themed top hat" - basically handing Friedman all the elements for him to put together. That sounds more like it was added to the story after the fact, which might call the entirety of the story into question.

But the Mets' logo story is just bizarre.

The Keller family, meanwhile, also knows something about lost credit. Jay Keller, 70, retired computer sales executive now living in DeLand, Fla., said that his father also helped design the original New York Mets logo - a baseball encircling a bridge connecting a skyline of the city's five boroughs - but never received credit. On Thursday, a Mets spokesman said the logo probably had its roots in a design contest held among fans but there was uncertainty as to who exactly designed it.

"Maybe it s gone by the wayside," Jay Keller said. "My dad doesn't need it on his résumé anymore."

What? The Mets don't know who designed their primary logo?

Somebody tell the Mets.

November 16, 1961 - The circular Mets logo, designed by sports cartoonist Ray Gatto, was unveiled. It has gone virtually unchanged throughout the history of the club. The shape of the insignia, with its orange stitching, represents a baseball, and the bridge in the foreground symbolizes that the Mets, in bringing back the National League to New York, represent all five boroughs. It's not just a skyline in the background, but has a special meaning. At the left is a church spire, symbolic of Brooklyn, the borough of churches. The second building from the left is the Williamsburg Savings Bank, the tallest building in Brooklyn. Next is the Woolworth Building. After a general skyline view of midtown comes the Empire State Building. At the far right is the United Nations Building. The Mets' colors are Dodger blue and Giant orange, symbolic of the return of National League baseball to New York after the Dodgers and Giants moved to California. Blue and Orange are also the official colors of New York State.

:blink:

I know the Mets have been a complete mess since the Wilpons bought out old man Doubleday, but c'mon.

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I don't know about that, Bucco - the top hat logo itself is pretty well-known.

Reading the whole article, there's something about the Friedman family's story which doesn't quite ring true. I find it suspicious that Dan Topping would have been so specific about his requirements - "a logo that included the Yankees name, a bat, a ball and patriotic-themed top hat" - basically handing Friedman all the elements for him to put together. That sounds more like it was added to the story after the fact, which might call the entirety of the story into question.

But the Mets' logo story is just bizarre.

The Keller family, meanwhile, also knows something about lost credit. Jay Keller, 70, retired computer sales executive now living in DeLand, Fla., said that his father also helped design the original New York Mets logo - a baseball encircling a bridge connecting a skyline of the city's five boroughs - but never received credit. On Thursday, a Mets spokesman said the logo probably had its roots in a design contest held among fans but there was uncertainty as to who exactly designed it.

"Maybe it s gone by the wayside," Jay Keller said. "My dad doesn't need it on his résumé anymore."

What? The Mets don't know who designed their primary logo?

Somebody tell the Mets.

November 16, 1961 - The circular Mets logo, designed by sports cartoonist Ray Gatto, was unveiled. It has gone virtually unchanged throughout the history of the club. The shape of the insignia, with its orange stitching, represents a baseball, and the bridge in the foreground symbolizes that the Mets, in bringing back the National League to New York, represent all five boroughs. It's not just a skyline in the background, but has a special meaning. At the left is a church spire, symbolic of Brooklyn, the borough of churches. The second building from the left is the Williamsburg Savings Bank, the tallest building in Brooklyn. Next is the Woolworth Building. After a general skyline view of midtown comes the Empire State Building. At the far right is the United Nations Building. The Mets' colors are Dodger blue and Giant orange, symbolic of the return of National League baseball to New York after the Dodgers and Giants moved to California. Blue and Orange are also the official colors of New York State.

:blink:

I know the Mets have been a complete mess since the Wilpons bought out old man Doubleday, but c'mon.

I know NYC colours are blue and orange:

ny-nycity.gif

I'm not so sure about the state though.

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Interesting, but the top hat logo is not what I think about when I think of the Yankees. It's the insignia they wear on their cap and chest (Which are different)...and I think of getting sick to me stomach as well ;)

That's exactly why I included the word notoriety. ^_^

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Because that's not actually the original. That's my (very rough) vector of the original.

I keep meaning to get around to finishing it. It's close, but not quite there. Bat is off.

And yes, it's a fantastic logo. So much better than the one the Yankees currently use.

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This has a very "Betsy Ross designed the American flag" feel. No proof, none of the original people involved are around to confirm/dispute, just a story passed down through the family for years. Heck, anyone could do that. I can claim that my ancestory designed the Blackhawks logo... that doesn't make it true.

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Do the Yankees really need the primary logo? The interlocking "NY" is basically their bread & butter.

Yes they do. It's used a LOT more often than you'd think. When they use a Yankee logo in the local papers or on newscasts, it's that logo. When they use a sleeve patch, it's that logo (i.e. for BP unis), from what I've seen in stores in the area, it is far and away the most common logo used on items such as souvenir baseballs, mini-bats, etc.

Obviously you see all the hats and t-shirts with the NY on it, but there are plenty of uses for the other one as well...

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And yes, it's a fantastic logo. So much better than the one the Yankees currently use.

I guess you're going to have to point out the differences to me. With the details I notice, I'm tempted to say it might be slightly better, but I'd be hard pressed to say anything much stronger than that.

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Do the Yankees really need the primary logo? The interlocking "NY" is basically their bread & butter.

Yes they do. It's used a LOT more often than you'd think. When they use a Yankee logo in the local papers or on newscasts, it's that logo. When they use a sleeve patch, it's that logo (i.e. for BP unis), from what I've seen in stores in the area, it is far and away the most common logo used on items such as souvenir baseballs, mini-bats, etc.

Obviously you see all the hats and t-shirts with the NY on it, but there are plenty of uses for the other one as well...

If I were a betting man I'd bet that if you traveled the world and showed a million different people each of the Yankee logos the interlocking NY logo would be more recognizable simply because of the merchandise (i.e. Caps, Jerseys, and T-shirts)

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Do the Yankees really need the primary logo? The interlocking "NY" is basically their bread & butter.

Yes they do. It's used a LOT more often than you'd think. When they use a Yankee logo in the local papers or on newscasts, it's that logo. When they use a sleeve patch, it's that logo (i.e. for BP unis), from what I've seen in stores in the area, it is far and away the most common logo used on items such as souvenir baseballs, mini-bats, etc.

Obviously you see all the hats and t-shirts with the NY on it, but there are plenty of uses for the other one as well...

If I were a betting man I'd bet that if you traveled the world and showed a million different people each of the Yankee logos the interlocking NY logo would be more recognizable simply because of the merchandise (i.e. Caps, Jerseys, and T-shirts)

I'm not disputing that. All I'm saying is that for certain purposes, having the primary logo is a much better option than the interlocking NY.

You could probably say the same thing about the Dodgers as well. I'd think the "LA" is more recognizable than the primary logo...but there are certain places that just doesn't work well...

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