The New York Yankees are one of the most famous teams not only in baseball but across the whole sporting world. With its long history of success and an impressive 27 world championships to boast, the New York Yankees are a true force to be reckoned with on both a sporting and a commercial level.
Being the second most successful franchise in American sports, behind only the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Yankees is a brand that everyone has heard of. This global presence is only enhanced by the fact that the team gave us one of the world’s most powerful sporting superpowers, Babe Ruth, who played 14 glorious years for the team.
The logo of the New York Yankees has seen several changes over their 19-year existence, taking no less than 13 different forms during that time, with most of its changes being in the details.
Below, we look at those changes, seeing how the logo has evolved over time.
In its first year of existence, the New York Yankees, then known as the Baltimore Orioles, had a simple bold “O” for Orioles as their logo. The letter was orange-colored, with a black inner part.
Just one year later, the logo was changed to a blue block “B” in caps. The B was for Baltimore, the team’s home city.
Another year passed and the team felt it was time for yet another refresh. As 1903 came about, the team changed its name, thus its logo.
The team was now the New York Highlanders and the logo was the letters “NY”, in black, and in an old English font.
Sticking with the annual logo redesign, in 1904 the team received another new look. In its second year as the Highlanders, the team slightly modified the logo, changing the color of the font from black to blue.
Another new year and another change for the Highlanders. In 1905, the font of the words NY was changed to be interlocking. The color of the words was also changed from blue to navy blue.
The logo was modified slightly in 1906, with the words spaced out slightly. The color of the letters was changed again from navy blue to blue. Less than 12 months later and the font of the logo was tweaked to become a little more refined, albeit from the same font family. A bit of tinkering was done again with the color, reverting to navy blue.
Although a change that was enjoyed and responded to well by fans, in 1908 the Highlanders came up with a bone-like font while maintaining the navy blue color and space between the letters. This unique look only remained for a year or so and in 1909, we saw yet another font upgrade.
1909 was the year of the immortal interlocking letters. The N and Y were interlocked, with the font getting a new stylish and sharper look. This new sharp logo was used by the team for 4 whole years. While the longest a logo had stuck for the team, in 1913 we saw one of the biggest shifts in the team’s branding.
It was in 1913 when the team assumed the name of the New York Yankees; a name we now associate with top-flight baseball. The name “New York Yankees” became official after being coined by reporters who found it easier to insert in headlines and stories. The color of the logo was changed to black.
Two years later and it was time for a color change, with the logo reverting back to the iconic blue it has used in yesteryear. This version of the logo remained unchanged for the next 30 years. This was the Babe Ruth era of Yankees baseball!
Then, in 1947, we saw the release of perhaps one of the most perfect logos in sports, created by artist Henry Alonzo Keller. Uncle Sam’s top hat concept was not only patriotic but it was a show of pride for America and baseball. The Y and S of the Yankees name formed the border of a white baseball with red seams, while the bat, vertical and slightly tilted, forming the vertical line of the letter “K”. The barrel of the bat was inside the Uncle Sam hat, which had the colors of the US flag.
1968 was the year when the background of the logo was cleaned up and only the baseball formed by the Y and S served as the background. This was the last change to the logo that is still being used today.
So, there you have it, the long and complex journey that the famous New York Yankees logo has been on. But, is the current version here to stay? Only time will tell.
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