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Brooklyn Dodgers cap logo [ IMAGE HEAVY ]


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This is something that's bothered me for a long time - MLB just can't get the Brooklyn Dodger caps right. As part of their throwback uniform this season, the Dodgers are wearing this cap:


They wear a slightly different "B" on their batting helmets:


Neither one is historically accurate.

The Brooklyn Dodgers used a distinctive "B" logo for most of their existence. It may best be described as two equal loops, or an "8", joined by a vertical bar at the left. The bar's right edge is straight, and the left edge is scalloped to form three points. The loops and bar come together to create a distinctive triangular "notch" of negative space.


There were minor variations in this logo, the thickness of the loops and the curve of the left-hand bar, but aside from those, and for all but a couple seasons (which we'll look at below) this was the logo which defined Brooklyn's team.

The logo dates at least as far back as the early days of the 20th Century, as seen in this 1909 picture of George "Farmer" Bell (note that his cap has a block "B"):


Although the Dodgers experimented with many uniform styles before finally settling on the classic look, the "B" was a constant. Compare the 1916 photo and 1933 game-used jersey:


in 1938, the familiar "Dodgers" script was introduced. The "B" logo was featured on a white cap at home and blue cap on the road. This is Babe Ruth's cap from 1938 (manufactured by Spalding):


The white cap lasted one year before the blue became standard at home and on the road. Again, there were minor variations (caused, I suspect, by different uniform suppliers), but the overall effect remained the same.


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Before the 1955 season, the Dodgers got a new cap supplier - McAuliffe. For the first time, the classic logo was out, as McAuliffe put their own version of the "B" logo on the cap.


If that looks familiar, it should - it's essentially the Red Sox' cap logo in one color without an outline. No notch, the left edges of the loops are now vertical and the bottom loop is larger than the top.

It's not surprising that McAuliffe used the Red Sox logo - they were a Boston-based company who were also supplying the Sox. Compare that cap with this Ted Williams game-worn cap from the same time period:


The Dodgers wore the Red Sox-inspired logo for two seasons. For 1957, the Dodgers' last season in Brooklyn, the classic "B" returned. This cap was made by McAuliffe, featuring a return to the classic logo, more or less.


It is my understanding that McAuliffe continued to supply the Dodger caps in 1957, but I don't know why finally ditched "their" logo for the "real" logo. Maybe the club requested it. Whatever the reason, the Brooklyn Dodgers had their classic logo back, albeit briefly.

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Okay. That's it for authentics. Let's talk about reproductions.

As late as about a decade ago, Mitchell & Ness made a faithful replica of this cap:


I have read that the manufacturing for M&N's Cooperstown Collection caps was actually farmed out to Ebbets Field in Seattle, but can't confirm that. In any case, M&N discontinued the line, and that was the last time an authentic blue Brooklyn Dodgers cap was commercially available.

In the 1990s, with the boom in merchandising, MLB created the official Cooperstown Collection style sheets. For the Brooklyn Dodgers, they settled on this monstrosity:


It's hard to see where they came up with this, since I can't find any evidence it was ever actually worn by the team. It bears some resemblance to the McAuliffe 1955-56 logo, but apparently somebody remembered that the Dodger logo had a notch in it and slapped one on top. The notch should grow organically from the loops, but this one is just overlaid.

That's the logo on most "Brooklyn Dodgers" merchandise sold today, and it's just a rip-off of the Red Sox.


Even Mitchell & Ness, who ought to know better, use the Boston logo for all their merchandise.


American Needle dabbles in the classic logo a little:


That cap has its own issues, though - the logo should be embroidered, not a patch (see the Babe Ruth cap above). Still, I think they're the only ones who still use the classic logo at all.

New Era has their very own version of the Brooklyn logo, which they have used for reproduction caps since at least the 1980s (and which is being worn by the LA Dodgers in their throwback games):


In this logo, the vertical bar curves in, and the "loops" aren't complete circles, more like reverse-Cs.

I don't know where New Era got this logo. I'm not aware if this was among the manufacturer variations that the Brooklyn Dodgers wore, but I do know that it was worn by the Bakersfield Dodgers when they were an LA farm club.


Okay, thanks for bearing with me. This is my own personal "uni-geek" cause. I really wish somebody would produce an historically accurate Brooklyn Dodgers cap.

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Wow, you really are an expert, I just don't understand how the MLB can destroy the logo of their most beloved Cooperstown team. I will never look at anything Brooklyn Dodgers the same after this, thanks for making us all experts on this matter.


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How do you feel about the Brooklyn Dodgers cap shown on Fringe where they visit an alternate universe where Dodgers stayed in Brooklyn (and in a recent episode where heard on the radio playing the Montreal Expos at Ebbets Field)?


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Thank you. They didn't mention specifically what cap it was onscreen when it first showed up. When I went to look up Brooklyn Dodgers caps I kept finding that Red Sox ripoff with that symbol from the play button on a remote control.

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Very nice work. I really couldn't tell the difference before reading this. Now it's so obvious that the new reproductions are not close to the original.

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To answer the question about why M&N uses the crappy logo on all their merch, it's probably because they have to use logos from the Cooperstown Collection style guide as part of their licensing agreement to produce Cooperstown Collection goods for MLB. I bet they wouldn't be approved if they were using a logo that wasn't in the style guide.

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Excellent thread. I have heard about how the "real" logo was pretty much extinct, but never knew all of the variations that were out there today and how they differed from the original.

Now that I see the original - man, what a clunky logo. All I see is an 8 with a couple of points and an awkward bar.

The McAuliffe Red Sox version was IMO the best (with the New Era version thisclose behind), and the Cooperstown (with faux notch) being the worst.

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Great information and explanations. Thanks for that. It shouldn't be this hard for the Dodgers to get it right, though.

I agree with you, Gothamite about which B I like best, but unfortunately, all I see now is a scrunched together 1 and 8. What a :censored: logo.

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New Era seems to have a decent version of the B on the Brooklyn Cyclones cap.


Take the "C" off that logo and put a notch on the top loop of the B and you have the perfect hat for if the Dodgers ever somehow moved back to Brooklyn.

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