Who is the mlb logo? It’s one of the mysteries of the ages, right up there with “Are we alone in the universe?” and “Who exactly bought all those Nickelback records?” — just who is the inspiration behind the MLB logo?
In the NBA, it’s basically a known secret that Lakers guard Jerry West was the inspiration for its logo — but Major League Baseball is a little less clear.
The rumor for decades has been that it was based on Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew. But is that true? As always, the truth around these things gets kind of murky.
The logo was designed by Jerry Dior in 1968, as MLB was getting ready to celebrate the centennial of professional baseball the next year. It would make sense if Killebrew was the inspiration for the logo at this time: “Killer” was coming off a 44-home run season when he finished second in the American League in MVP voting in 1967. (Unfortunately, his 1968 season was a disappointment as he hit just .210 with 17 home runs in 100 games.)
The issue isn’t complicated for Killebrew. The slugger, who passed away in 2011, is pretty sure it was him. Killebrew told Paul Lukas a story about arriving at the Commissioner’s Office in the late 1960s, when he ran into a man working on a project in the office.
“He had a photograph of me in a hitting position, and he had one of those grease pencils that you see at a newspaper, and he was marking that thing up,” Killebrew said. “I said, ‘What are you doing with that?’ and he said they were going to make a new Major League Baseball logo. I never thought any more about it. And then the logo came out and it did look like me. The only change was the angle of the bat — they changed that to kind of make it fit more into the design.”
Major League Baseball Logo
The official logo of Major League Baseball was designed by Jerry Dior in 1968, when MLB commissioned the marketing firm Dior worked at to create a logo for the centennial celebration of professional baseball, set to take place in 1969. The logo first appeared on uniforms during the 1969 season.
The ubiquitous design includes a white silhouette of a batter — popularly thought to be Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew — flanked by a backdrop of blue and red. Dior has said that he did not model the logo after any one player and instead made it intentionally ambiguous in every way, including the batter’s side of the plate.
Who is on the MLB logo? Exploring origin model and history
The official MLB logo was created by American graphic designer Jerry Nicholas Dior in 1968. At the time, the league authorized a marketing company that Dior worked at to design a logo for the 100th anniversary of professional baseball, which was celebrated in 1969.
The simplicity of the MLB logo is something that makes it unique and exceptional. It’s the silhouette of a batter holding the bat while hitting a baseball against a blue and red background.
However, fans have been curious to know which batter Dior used as part of his design. Meanwhile, others have also wanted to understand whether the batter on the logo is left-handed or right-handed.
Many believe that the white silhouette on the MLB logo is Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who was dominating the league with his batting during the time the logo was created. However, Dior later said that he did not base his design on one player and he intentionally made it ambiguous in every way possible. He also revealed that the batter’s side of the plate doesn’t really matter.
The official MLB logo by Dior first appeared on team uniforms in the 1969 season and it has been used by the league ever since.
Who was Harmon Killebrew and which MLB teams did he play for?
Harmon Killebrew signed his first MLB contract with the Washington Senators, now known as the Minnesota Twins, in 1954. The right-handed batter played 21 seasons with the team before joining the Kansas City Royals on a one-year deal in 1975.
Killebrew earned 13 All-Star honors, all of which came during his time with the Senators. He also won the AL MVP in 1969 and was the AL Home Run leader on six occasions.
Across 22 seasons in the MLB, Killebrew racked up 2,086 hits and 573 home runs with a .256 batting average. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.
The MLB logo features a subtle yet genius optical illusion
From colour choice to shape, logos are designed to be both eye-catching and instantly recognisable. Most of the time, the simpler a logo is the better – and the iconic MLB is a great example of less is more. However, eagle-eyed baseball fans are noticing a hidden optical illusion that is a stroke of genius.
If you look closely, you’ll notice that although the baseball player is mid-swing you can’t actually tell whether he is stood facing the viewer or if his back is turned – and this is entirely intentional. (Feeling inspired? Why not check out our guide on how to design a logo.)
Designed by Jerry Dior, the logo shows an unknown baseball player wielding a bat mid-swing as a ball approaches. The illustration features a bold blue and red background, using negative space to create the white silhouette of the figure. It lacks any kind of outline or detailing – and that’s the point. The logo is meant to symbolise all MLB players, and faces in an ambiguous direction to include left and right handed batters.
There has been oodles of speculation about who exactly the the original silhouette was based on. Some fans speculate it could be the profile of Harmon Killebrew who was at the height of his popularity during the original creation of the logo in 1968, but considering Dior stated that he couldn’t remember who was in the original reference photos I guess we’ll never know for sure.
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