Dissecting the Greatest Logo in Phillies History


As you know, tonight, the Phillies will wear their 1984-era throwbacks (Dan will have a full write-up later), uniforms worn by the likes of Von Hayes, Juan Samuel, Mike Schmidt, and the Steves: Carlton and Jeltz.

Coming off a World Series appearance in 1983, the Phillies finished their 1984 campaign with a paltry 81-81 record. There was really nothing special about the season. Highlights included Schmidt having what would be a sub-par year for Ryan Howard (36 HR, 102 RBI) and Samuel stealing 72 bases. The Phillies finished in fourth, losing their last eight games. Yikes.

So why choose the "84-era" uniforms? Because that's the year the Phillies switched to a new logo, which they would use until 1991.

Since 1970, the Phillies had used the ever popular Philadelphia Phil and Phyllis as their official trademark. The logo, an oh so 70s drawing of what looked like a young George Washington propositioning Penny Gadget for sex, had grown stale (now would be a good time to mention that searching Google Images for "Penny Inspector Gadget" with SafeSearch turned off yields some horrifying – or delightful – results, depending on taste). It was time for a change. After all, in 1984, our country was to be in the throws of an Orwellian dictatorship.

Enter this:

Screen Shot 2011-07-22 at 2.19.59 PM

Hello, Mr. Perfect.

Look at that 80s-esque red-blue trim, and depthless, plain looking Philadelphia typeface. Mmm.

Such vanillity (word?) was present so as to not distract from the crown jewel of this baby: the green and white Independence Hall tower, which appeared to be rising from the grasp of an 80s pubical thicket. This would be the logo most of us Gen Yers came to know the Phillies by. Game tickets (here's mine from Terry Mulholland's 1990 no-hitter, which fell on my 7th birthday), Phillies Franks, and merchandise all greeted us in the colory goodness of the logo that spanned almost the entire 10-year gap between postseason appearances.

While the Phillies' jersey switch in 1992 was a welcome change, the official logo refresh was – and still is – a disaster.

Screen Shot 2011-07-22 at 2.20.48 PM

At the time, it was at least relevant. But the shape lives in the past. The ellipsed diamond look resembles the very symmetrical Vet Stadium field.

The Phillies have done a lot with just the Liberty Bell this year (thanks to Cliff Lee), may we recommend embedding CBP's dimensions (seen here) in the top of a blue-trimmed bell and calling it a day? That would be a simplistic and logical update.

Either way, tonight, we welcome back an old friend. 


18 Responses

  1. That pic is classic 80s. Put shades and bright colored suits on them and they could be Crockett and Tubbs.

  2. Funny thing about the Nike BOOM shirts… the players wear ones with the Nike swoosh up around the collar whereas the versions available to the public have the swoosh in front of the word BOOM. Plus the players have an awesome dark red versus the brighter than bright firehouse red.
    the shirt the players wear (http://zozone.mlblogs.com/2011/02/14/giants-and-yankees-talk-phillies-rotation/) vs. everyman shirt (http://www.citysports.com/Nike-Phillies-BOOM-Tee-Short-Sleeve—Mens/203157/product)

  3. “The ellipsed diamond look – I’m guessing – was to outline the very symmetrical Vet Stadium field…”
    Dude it’s the shape of a baseball infield, pretty simple. It has nothing to do with The Vet, I don’t know where you pulled that from.

  4. Someone link me up to a big, desktop wallpaper sized version of that old Phillies logo, please.

  5. completely agree with deezy.
    i have no qualms over the current logo. old throwback logos are always cool in most cases.

  6. Christ, I love that picture. Why does no one go with the jheri curl anymore? Imagine how SWEET Ryan Howard would look with that ‘do …


  8. I mean, isnt a baseball infield sort of shaped like the new logo? I actually the recent iteration of the Phils logo, but wish they would go back to the powder blues more. Now those were pimpin uni’s. (maybe i should learn where the comment link for each post is…)

  9. fair points guys, i was looking at it more in terms of the entire field….. but i see the point. i still think using just the bell and etching cbp’s dimensions in the top of it would be pretty sweet

  10. The logo http://mobilwi.typepad.com/.a/6a0120a6dde087970b015390198e4f970b-500wi is fine already. Your CBP park dimension inlay idea should be shyteboxed toot sweet.
    Still waiting for a Sat Nite Special retro night, though:
    PS: It’s “banality”, not “vanillity”, because in reality, the vanilla bean is more rare and exotic than f*cking bananas.

  11. As much as I like the current logo, the old school version was pretty cool too. And Dutch looked badass in that pic!

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