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Wednesday, May 06, 2009
The Brewers’ LogoOne of the cool things about baseball is that despite how small our world has become, how nationalized, standardized, commoditized and sanitized everything insists on being, there are still healthy pockets of localization. Things teams do and things that fans think that don't instantly make the mainstream. It's far less prevalent than it used to be, of course, but there still remains a fair amount of the healthy, color-enhancing provincialism about the game that I hope doesn't go away any time soon.
Example: Despite all of the retro trends and the opinions of nationalized opinion spewers like me, there are folks in Milwaukee who really want the old baseball glove logo to disappear:
Look around Milwaukee. Look around Miller Park. What do you see? Most likely you see the greatest baseball logo in Major League Baseball, the Brewers old ball and glove logo the team wore regularly from 1978-1993. Nowadays, the Brewers break out throw back uniforms from that era for every Friday home game. As cool as that logo is, it's time to retire it. Here's why. It's time to move forward, respect the past and build the future.
The estimable Brew Crew Ball feels the same way.
I love the old blue and gold jerseys and wish the Brewers went with the old mitt logo full time, because that's still what I think of when I think "Brewers." But ultimately neither the marketers, the networks, the trendsetters or even people like me get to define what the Brewers are all about. Brewers fans get to do that, and for some of them at least, the old ways aren't anything to which they want to return.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:40am
Just cuz some second tier sportscaster on some second tier tv station says something doesn’t mean its true. If you don’t trust Selena Roberts, why you trusting this guy:
“The players don’t like wearing the old uniforms. It’s a constant reminder of the glory days of the early 80’s.”
Just who are these players, and which ones are so insecure they can’t stand reminders of the good old days. You know what makes me forget the good old days? Good new days.
But what the hell, get rid of the pinstripes and tear down Fenway while we’re at it.
You know what isn’t a reminder of the glory days? The uniforms they wear now.
Posted 05/06 at 12:00 PM
if they’re not going to go back to the old ones, or come up with some sort of halfway/compromise redesign, they should at least come up with something that doesn’t make them look like a can of milwaukee’s best.
Posted 05/06 at 12:21 PM
As someone who always enjoys old uniforms, for the fun of it - including the horizontally striped hats the Pirates had and the shorts that the White Sox (right?) wore briefly. I love cheesy uniforms. I hate the idea that baseball has to have as much fashion sense as some people would like it to have.
We baseball fans are the dorks of the sports world, and I like it that way!
Posted 05/06 at 12:22 PM
Mark Armour said...
I have come to conclude that the best uniforms, without exception, are the ones that were around when I was 10 years old. I realize the possible biases to this belief, but there you go.
Posted 05/06 at 12:39 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
If I’m estimating accurately, you were 10 just prior to the doubleknit explosion in the early-to-mid 70s, right? Good era, actually. Some splashes of color, but nothing crazy yet.
Of course your words could also be read as a wry comment about the phenomenon in which each of us tends to think that with which we are most familiar is best, be it music, fashion, game strategy, etc. If so, touche, though I will buck that trend somewhat. I turned 10 in 1983, and with the exception of the Brewers, I can’t think of a team that looked its best during those years outside of the evergreens like the Yankees, Dodgers, and, at least in the home duds, the Tigers.
Posted 05/06 at 12:44 PM
Mark Armour said...
My comment was intended to be both a true expression of my feelings and a wry comment on human biases.
The pre-1975 era was great, largely because each team (with a few exceptions) allowed their fans to get accustomed to the uniforms—one uniform at home, one on the road—for several years. If you turned 10 in Phoenix in 1998, do you even have a D-Backs uniform in your mind’s eye?
Look at a picture of Willie Mays on the Giants. Why would anyone want the team to look any different than that?
Posted 05/06 at 12:52 PM
Speaking as someone who lives in Milwaukee, I have to say that this guy’s point of view repesents a good portion of people, but obviously not everyone.
And, if you read what he says, it’s clear that he’s not saying that it’s a bad logo. Instead, what he’s saying is that it’s a great logo that is being overused by the team. The Brewers really started pushing the retro unis in 2007, the 25th anniversary of the Brewers’ only World Series appearance. the team would wear the uni every Sunday, I think, and, on Fridays, they gave out mini-bobbleheads of each of the 1982 Brewers. it was definitely a big deal to the team. Last year, they moved the retro-uni night to Friday.
Now, the retro uni is obviously very popular. Miller Park is filled with people wearing retro Yount and Thomas and Molitor jerseys as well as retro Fielder, Braun, and Gallardo jerseys. There’s no denying that we love the old logo.
But, at some point, it became clear to a lot of people that the Brewers were promoting the old school guys more than the current guys, that the image that the club was projecting was one of the past and not one of the present. Even with the Brewers winning 90 games last year and having 4(?) All-Stars and obviously fielding an exciting young team, the way they pushed the retro-nights and everything else 1982-related made it seem like they were ignoring the new guys in favor of the old.
Of course, we can’t fault the club for marketing the ‘82 team when it is so clearly a money-maker, but, as a fan of the current team, I (and others) can be a little disappointed that they’re not doing all they can to promote these guys. Plus, you really have to wonder if the strategy is smart in the long run. If they don’t effectively market and promote this young, exciting team, then aren’t they losing out on the same kind of love and goodwill 10 or 15 or 25 years from now that they’re currently getting with the ‘82 team?
Playing well and making it to the World Series again will certainly create it’s own excitement and goodwill, but, in the meantime, does management really need to slap it’s current players across the face with a message of “as much as we like you, you’re nothing compared to these guys (who played in the World Series before some of you were even born)”?
Posted 05/06 at 12:54 PM
Mark Armour said...
I agree with lar. If you are going to create a new logo/uniform, you need to focus on that. The problem was getting rid of the logo in the first place. That having been done, they should just move on.
Posted 05/06 at 01:04 PM
I still remember the day I figured out that brewers logo wasn’t just a glove, it was an M and b and baseball. I went out and bought the hat the next day just because of how cool the logo suddenly became. I’ve had a soft spot for the Brewers ever since, but I had to retire the hat after the brewers joined the NL central. Sorry brewers, my loyalty lies with another team…
Posted 05/06 at 01:30 PM
Aren’t retro jerseys for active players a sacrilege and adbomination?
Posted 05/06 at 01:38 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Ron—They can be, but if not overdone, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Here’s an idea: the Yankees’ insistence on never changing their jerseys combined with the neat fetishization of Yankee history, work to create a far bigger burden than do retro jerseys hearkening back to a good, but by no means great 1982 Brewers team.
Posted 05/06 at 01:41 PM
well, since Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun and JJ Hardy and everyone else actually wears the 1982 jersey once a week, it seems like it should be okay for the fans to buy those jerseys. The question then becomes, should the club make them wear those jerseys so often? (the accountants would definitely say ‘yes’)
Posted 05/06 at 01:52 PM
I find the current uniforms of the Brewers, Padres and Blue Jays to be focus-group tested abominations. So until the Brewers move onto something that carves out a meaningful, unique identity for the team, I say the more they’re out of the regular duds the better.
Posted 05/06 at 02:38 PM
Just jumping in as a Brewers fan. I was really disappointed this year when I saw they decided to keep retro Fridays. It seemed like making the playoffs last season was a decent reason to finally retire that tradition since a provided them a chance to break with the whole idea of “1982.”
I understand from a marketing perspective that they can sell a lot of retro jerseys and apparel, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s obnoxious to see the team trot out onto the field in the old pin stripes. Plus, from the crazy fan perspective, I believe that they play like #### in those uniforms.
Ultimately I would be perfectly fine with the Brewers switching back to the old uniforms, but they’d have to go with them full-time. I like the old uniforms, I just hate the alternate jerseys to sell in the store at the stadium. And it really makes the club seem like it’s still a unable to cut ties with it’s only successful era.
Does that answer seem like I’m trying to sit on both side of the fence?
Posted 05/06 at 02:53 PM
Why would the current Brewers want to be connected to the 1982 Brewers, rather than the 1992 Brewers or the 2002 Brewers? They should completely trash the ball-in-glove logo and exclusively use the generic-as-hell script “Brewers” written across a baseball.
Posted 05/06 at 06:21 PM