2011 MLB All-Star Game: Top 5 Best and Worst Midsummer Classic Logos of All Time
We live in a world of logos. They're everywhere: we see them on our drive to work—telling us where to eat, and where to shop.
We're bombarded with them on television—and pelted by them online.
The logo is a crucial part of branding—it's how business is done today.
Logos can be a beat-down, for sure.
Here's a chance for us to have a little fun with the logo—at its expense.
I give you the five best and the five worst MLB All-Star Game logos of all time.
The Worst—No. 5: 1955 All-Star Game—County Stadium, Milwaukee
Sure, it was 1955. I get it. Things were different. Most men wore suits to baseball games, and absolutely everyone older than the age of 12 smoked two packs of cigarettes a day.
Which is fitting, because this looks like a bronze ashtray.
Or a belt-buckle—the kind that no one would ever buy—this is literally the last item left at the world's worst garage sale.
It's a bronze litter box that no cat would be caught dead using.
However, all the pertinent information is there: the year, location, event, etc.
The Worst—No. 4: 1951 All-Star Game—Briggs Stadium, Detroit
Look, I haven't got anything against the 1950's. There just happened to be some atrocious All-Star Game logos for baby boomers' parents to ponder while pressing their gray flannel suits.
Okay, we all see the baseball. But why is there a make-believe professional baseball league crest in the middle of it? And what's with the three stars, anorexic lion and Boy Scout symbol?
I like the yellow, red-outlined flying desk weight atop the bizarre crest...it just looks more like a child's rendition of a failed campaign button than something that inspires anticipation and excitement for the Midsummer Classic.
The Worst—No. 3: 1948 All-Star Game—Sportsman's Park, St. Louis
The St. Louis Cardinals were at one time the "St. Louis Browns." And that time was 1898.
So what the heck is up with all the freaking brown?
Plus, does this look like a basketball to anyone else besides me?
Not so good 1948, not so good at all.
The Worst—No. 2: 1943 All-Star Game—Shibe Park, Philadelphia
First off, here's a little trivia for you: from 1935-1946, the managers of the AL and NL teams picked their entire All-Star roster from top to bottom.
I'm willing to bet if the skippers had any say in the creation of this logo, they'd deny it vehemently.
This logo is wrong on multiple levels.
There is no location.
It's dirty silver in color—thankfully not brown, but perhaps the next worst thing.
It resembles an ill-conceived unit of change—one that isn't worth a wooden nickel.
If the Lone Ranger's horse was this kind of "silver," he'd just walk.
And perhaps the worst part: where are the batter's teeth? I've heard of swinging so hard that "you come out of your shoes"—but dude, for crying out loud, keep those choppers in your food hole, will ya? Please?
You're freaking us all out, man.
Fear not Philly fandom: in a mere 66 years from this All-Star Game, you'd land Cliff Lee—the first time.
The Worst—No. 1: 1956 All-Star Game—Griffith Stadium, Washington, D.C.
1956 was a great year in Major League Baseball. A 24-year old Mickey Mantle was just coming into his prime. Yogi Berra was a 31-year old ball player and not an 80-something year old car insurance salesman.
Don Larsen threw a perfect game.
So why so glum 1956 All-Star logo?
Yes, it's classy that this logo is an ode to Hall of Famer Clark Griffith, who had passed away in the fall of 1955.
Griffith was a man who enjoyed an occasional stogie.
Now, did Griffith smoke cigars or did he just screw them into his right cheek—as is depicted in this bronze caricature?
I like the fedora—it's always a nice touch.
How come the U.S. Capital is taking a magic carpet ride though?
It's comforting to know that the U.S. Capital was the first one to wear his cap "tilted off to the side."
Very gangster, U.S. Capital. Very gangster indeed.
Well, at least all the important information is there for those who dare to stare at this logo long enough.
The Worst—Honorable Mention: 2006 All-Star Game—PNC Park, Pittsburgh
Whoa. Take it easy 2006—Just because the Crayon box came with 500 different colors doesn't mean you have to use them all.
Viola! You've created a coma-inducing chromatic mess.
Wow. There's just too much going on here—the exact opposite of Barry Bonds' event schedule.
This logo is louder than Lady Gaga and somehow creates the visual equivalent of a brain freeze—minus the delicious chocolate shake after taste.
So there you have it, too much color can certainly be a bad thing.
Now it's time for the Best All-Star Logos of all time—you deserve it...
Top 5 Best MLB All-Star Logos of All Time
So we've learned a few things thus far. The "where" and the "what" weren't quite as important in the 1950's and 1940's—and the "who" and the "when" sometimes took a backseat to the color brown.
And I'm pretty sure the "why" and the "how" were slicking back their duck-tailed hair and smoking Chesterfields when they should've been in gym class.
That was then—during that time in American history advertising was a different beast. I mean, if you didn't live in the immediate vicinity of the All-Star Game's location, you probably would only be able to catch it on the radio, if you were lucky.
Today, you'd have to try extremely hard to avoid the All-Star Game. It'll find you—especially if you carry the misbegotten notion that you'll just DVR it and watch it after work. Yeah right.
It's everywhere—and that's a good thing. Especially since these next few logos won't have you wishing you were color blind.
Here are the Top 5 Best MLB All-Star Logos of All time...
The Best—No. 5: 2005 All-Star Game—Comerica Park, Detroit
This is only the second All-Star Logo I found whose style of font gives away the location. The other will pop up later in this section.
This one does so by the highly stylized "G".
You know immediately it's in Detroit—home of the Tigers.
It's right there for anyone who's even vaguely familiar with the Tigers' logo.
Very clever and tastefully done. This is an excellent logo for several reasons, but most importantly: it conveys all the information you need to know without knocking you over—click back two slides, if you dare.
The Best—No. 4: 1999 All-Star Game—Fenway Park, Boston
This one is outstanding.
Not only is it the only one that I noticed that is truly three-dimensional, it also visually represents the essence of Fenway Park—the "Green Monster."
It wouldn't be too tough to make this No. 1.
Regardless, this All-Star Logo is one of the best and was an exceptionally creative way to close the door on one century's style while ushering in a new era of All-Star Games and logos.
Top 5 Best All-Star Game Logos—No. 3: 1980, Los Angeles
This one is just a classic. Not only does it provide all the essential information, it really "pops" out at you but in an unobtrusive way.
It's really quite simplistic; yet it works well. It seems to embody some late 70's outlandishness tempered with early 80's sensibilities.
It's a win-win for the Dodgers too—they managed to get their two timeless logos into yet another timeless logo—and at the very same same time.
It makes me curious as to how many die-hard Dodgers fans have this exact tattoo somewhere on their bodies.
No too curious however—so no "tat" picks, please.
The Best—No. 2: 2007 All-Star Game—AT&T Park—San Francisco
Nice use of colors. Yet another logo that conveys the location based on its unique representation of this particular park's idiosyncrasies.
Baseball fans know immediately that this one is in San Francisco. They might even feel a splash from McCovey's Cove hit them squarely on their forehead if they stare too long.
Could easily have been a No. 1 pick.
The Best—No. 1: 2003 All-Star Game—U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Much like the previous slide, this unique logo incorporates modern features found only in its park.
Veeck was known for his odd ball promotions—"Disco Demolition Night"—as well as his innovations—his White Sox were the first to put surnames on the backs of their jerseys.
This logo encapsulates perhaps Veeck's biggest contribution to the Major Leagues: the "exploding scoreboard".
And that's why this one is the best—you get it all: history, entertainment, and All-Star splendor in a non-outlandish manner.
The Best—Honorable Mention: 2011 All-Star Game—Chase Field, Phoenix
This is the other All-Star logo that immediately reveals the location by its clever use of original fonts.
You immediately realize that this game is going to be held in Arizona—home of the Diamondbacks.
It's a little too drab (almost boring) for me to include it in the Top 5. It certainly bears mention, however.
The Texas Rangers' 1995 All-Star Logo deserves mention as well—it was one of three or four that wasn't eye-catching enough to crack the "Best" Top 5, which is too bad.
However, it wasn't so god-awful as to deserve enshrinement into the "Worst" Top 5 either—thus it will remain just as enigmatic as its franchises' history, and rightfully so.
Well, I hope you had as much fun with this slide show as I had putting it together. Please feel free to leaven any comments or suggestions...In your opinion, did I get this right or was I way off the mark?