Awesome Sports Logos Blog

Before They Were The Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs

With baseball season finally back, you have probably seen plenty of people sporting baseball caps of late. If you’re outside on a bright sunny day, odds are that you’ll run into someone wearing a Yankees, Red Sox, or Cubs hat. This much you know: those three franchises have been around for over 100 years each. But what you probably didn’t know? All three had remarkably different nicknames in the early 1900s.

Let’s start with the Yankees. They’ve had the same logo for almost their entire history. Well, other than their first two years of existence - 1901 – 1902 - when they were . . . the Baltimore Orioles. In 1903, the Orioles were bought and moved to Northern Manhattan in NYC. And then became . . . The Highlanders, using several variants of this logo over the next few years.
Logos courtesy of

The 1986 movie “Highlander” had the following tagline: “There can be only one.” That wouldn’t apply to 1903’s Highlanders. They’d change their nickname to “Yankees” in 1912, and the rest is history.

How about the Boston Red Sox? They were originally known as the “Boston American Baseball Club”, but since Boston also had a National League team at the time, locals called them the “Boston Americans”. “Americans”.
A much better nickname, especially for a historic city like Boston. Yet in 1908, the Americans changed their name to Red Sox. 

It’s time for a little tangent. Can we invent a time machine, go back to the late 19th and early 20th century, and ask why everyone was obsessed with socks?

The Cincinnati Reds broke into baseball as the Cincinnati “Red Stockings” in 1882. The Red Sox came to be in 1908. And the Chicago “White Stockings” - now White Sox – began playing in 1901. We can all appreciate a comfy pair of socks. But come on, we can think of more creative nicknames than that, right? 

Back then, apparently not. Before becoming known as the Cubs in 1903, Chicago’s national league squad spent 1898 – 1902 as the “Orphans”. 

Yes, arguably the most depressing name in the history of sports. Right now, stockings and socks don’t sound so bad.

We believe we’re a bit more creative than our turn of the 19th century brethren. Socks? Come on. Boston’s unique accent provide a much better nickname than the “Red Sox”.

We don’t have a suggestion to replace “The Orphans”. But since that nickname is such a Debbie Downer, why not just move the Cubs to Idaho and rename them the Taters?

Intimidating AND tasty, no?

We’re still working on a time machine to ask why the Yankees aren’t still the Highlanders, why the Red Sox aren’t the Americans, and how the Orphans were even thought of. Until then, we hope you enjoy our fabulous T-Shirts and remember, you can always join our t-shirt of the month club. A great reason to check the mail each month. 
Thanks as always for reading,

Paul Gallant
Awesome Sports Logos

Sports Logos Spotlight on the Duke Blue Devils

Few college basketball brands are more powerful than that of Duke University. Few programs can out-namedrop icons like Grant Hill, Christian Laettner, and of course “Coach K”. Throw in the 4th most wins of all-time, 16 final four appearances, and – after their 68 – 63 win over Wisconsin recently it's now 5 national championships, even less can boast of having more success.
Winning (and players like Laettner) often breeds contempt. And while Duke has fans all over the country, they’ve also created LEGIONS of haters.

But forget whether you love or loathe the Dukies. Instead, ask yourself this: “How . . . and WHY . . . did a small, private, Methodist University in the Bible Belt give itself the nickname Blue Devils?



It’s a great question. The answer? Even better.

Per Duke’s online library, the term “Blue Devils” was first used in France. It was a nickname for the “Chasseurs Alpins”, a unit of French Soldiers in World War 1 who fought near the French Alps. Their uniforms were . . . extravagant. They wore berets. And they wore capes.

After the United States entered WW1, some French “Blue Devils” went around the country trying to raise money. Irving Berlin – one of the greatest songwriters in US history - actually wrote a song about them. Here are the closing lyrics:

"Strong and active, most attractive
Are the Blue Devils
They came here the Liberty Loan to advance
We entertained them with the best
And now they've gone back to the trenches to rest
Those Devils, the Blue Devils of France"

So how did the name Blue Devils end up in Durham North Carolina? Trinity College didn't have a school nickname.The student newspaper launched a search campaign. They did want to keep the college color which was dark blue. Ultimately, Blue Devils took home the first prize beating out other candidates like the Blue Titans, Blue Eagles and Blue Warriors.

Yes, a Trinity College chose the nickname of Blue Devils. And yes, Duke’s nickname actually came from a division of the French Army. 

That answer doesn’t exactly scream “Most Dominant College Basketball Program of All-Time”, does it?

 We realize there are a lot of Duke fans across the country. We also realize there are plenty more who DON’T like Duke. That’s why at Awesome Sports Logos, we have our own version of the Blue Devils. Without any Laettner's. Ladies and Gentleman, the New York Zouaves!


What are the Zouaves? They also have a French connection. The name Zouave actually comes from Algeria and was first used by the French army as they recruited military from the Zouaoua tribe. Zouaves are distinguished by their uniforms which included short open-fronted jackets, baggy trousers and often sashes and oriental headgear. 

The New York Zouaves also known as the 11th New York Infantry took on the Zouaves name, uniforms and drill style during the Civil War. These volunteers actually started fighting immediately occupying Alexandria, Virginia just 24 hours after the state succeeded from the Union. 

If you put a Duke shirt on at this point without any kind of connection, you might be accused of hitching a ride on the Duke bandwagon. No one will accuse you of bandwagon jumping with our Zouaves awesome t-shirt. You’ll be trend-setting.
Thanks as always for reading,
Paul Gallant
Awesome Sports Logos Columnist 

New Uniforms Same Old Browns

The Cleveland Browns could use a shift in fortune. No NFL franchise has can hold a candle to the avalanche of bad breaks that this organization has suffered. Need examples? There are too many. Sorry Browns fans, you may want to avert your eyes.

They haven’t won a championship since 1964, BEFORE the Super Bowl Era

-       They’ve been close three times to Super Bowl appearances, but…

-        In 1986, Broncos quarterback John Elway led Denver on a 98 yard touchdown drive – known in Cleveland as “The Drive” - to tie the Browns with 34 seconds to play. Cleveland would lose in overtime.

-         In 1987, the Browns were trailing 38 – 31 (again, to the Broncos) late and were about to tie the game. But with 1:12 to play, Cleveland running back Ernest Byner fumbled JUST before crossing the goalline (for what would have been a game tying touchdown) , and the Broncos recovered. Once again, the Browns came up short.

-         In 1989, the Browns drew the Broncos in the AFC Championship. Again. And lost. Again. This time, 37-21.

-         In 1995, Browns owner Art Modell announced the franchise would move to Baltimore the following season. Cleveland was without a football team from 1996-1999.

-        Cleveland got a new franchise – the Browns – in 1999. But they’ve been one with little success since their re-birth, with just 2 winning seasons and 1 playoff appearance.

-        This past season wasn’t much different. After a 7-4 start, the Browns collapsed down the stretch with 5 losses to close out the year.

-          And this off-season has continued the trend. Their best player – wide receiver Josh Gordon (who was suspended most of last season - will be suspended the entirety of this coming season for substance abuse. Last year’s first round draft pick Johnny Manziel has been in rehab for much of the summer for the same reasons. And General Manager Ray Farmer has been suspended the first four games of the year for texting the coaching staff during games.

Yes, a long and depressing list. So if you want to make your fans forget the pain, why not rebrand yourselves?
Guess what. That’s EXACTLY what the Browns did this offseason. And in dramatic fashion!
Cleveland Browns new helmet 
Photo courtesy of
BAM! That’s how you shake things up! Brown facemasks baby! Sarcasm aside, they’ve at least changed their uniforms:
(Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Browns)
Unfortunately a new helmet and uniform won't help Browns fans forget the pain. We know one way to dim the pain is to present an awesome Ohio logo that is sure to bring a chuckle. Ladies and Gentleman, presents the Akron Rubbers!


Akron is the fifth largest city in Ohio and is also known as the Rubber Capital of the world, or “Rubber City”. At one point in the early 1920’s, Goodyear, Firestone and General Tire each had their headquarters in Akron and that’s how they got their anointed nickname. Goodyear is still based in the city. We love the name and the history that surrounds our awesome Akron Rubbers sports logo.
We love you Cleveland, time to get it done on the field and give some of the best sports fans in the country what they deserve more than a helmet and uniform change. Give them a winner!
Thanks for reading,
Paul Gallant
Awesome Sports Logos Columnist 

Sports Logo Review of the Phoenix Suns

The NBA came to Phoenix in 1968 when the franchise originated under the personnel guidance of 28-year old GM, Jerry Colangelo. Their logo has evolved over the years, but the foundation of the one they have today, "The Streaking Suns" look, originated in 1992. The logo was updated in 2000, simply given a more modern look which would be changed once again before the start of the 2013-2014 season. It is that logo, their current one, which we will discuss right here. 
Logos courtesy of
Let's start with the colors. Orange and purple is a unique combination that the Suns have featured over the years. I must let you know that purple is my favorite color so maybe I'm biased. But straying from the standard color combinations is always a nice surprise and, not just that, I think they mix well together. While they have kept their purple and orange in their alternate logo which you can see below, they have brought black in as a primary color for their logo. 

The nickname gets points for fitting with the area. When you think of Phoenix or Arizona, the heat is certainly among the top topics and in comparison to Miami's nickname, "Heat," I like "Suns" way better. It is an actual object and not a state of being. 

One of the neat elements about this logo is the shape. Some logos form their own obscure outlined shape, while others form a square or a horizontal rectangle. This logo forms a parallelogram. Like the color combination, this is another characteristic that isn't that common within the logo circles. 

What's really unique, though, is the recycling of a 90s logo into its modern form. So you take a logo that was great, spice it up, keep it fresh, and it still has that vintage luster. Now, if you were never a fan of the original, then, well...sorry. 

I like the logo because of its simplicity. Nothing crazy, it’s certainly not boring. A sun-shaped basketball is kind of redundant, though several scientists might disagree. Either way, it is a good, natural fit. I like the simple triangular glow of the sun emanating from the basketball with the rays trailing behind, serving the dual purpose of a shining sun and a basketball soaring towards the hoop.  

There's nothing flashy about the text, but I do like the usage of silver and not one of the two main colors, orange or purple. Both of those colors are rich and too much of it can take away from its pop. The silver text, which exists at the bottom, helps set the table for the rest. 

Overall, this is a pretty solid look. A lot of it probably rides on how much you like the color combination because, while I like a lot of the logo's other characteristics, they don't pop like the colors. On a five-point scale, I give this logo a 3.75. 

Awesome Sports Logos features their own Arizona logo and we think it’s a must for t-shirt lovers. One of the unique characteristics about the state is the different styles of cactus. One particular cactus caught our eye that you might see in the desert, the Trichocereus bridgesii. Click on the link and you will see its more referred to nickname. We love innuendo and we know Arizona loves its soccer/futbol so it became a perfect match. From there the Arizona Pricks Futbol Club t-shirt was born and we love it. We hope you like it as well.

Thanks as always for reading. You guys are awesome. 

Jared Sandler
Awesome Sports Logos Columnist

Why Decorah has an Awesome Sports Logo

We love answering questions about our t-shirts. In fact, we have a frequently asked questions section on our site to help customers. A question has come up lately from a few of you. “Where the heck is Decorah and why did you create a sports logo for Decorah Iowa? 
It’s a great question. Many of our awesome t-shirts derive from personal stories and this is the case with the Decorah Trolls. Decorah Iowa is about 15 miles south of the Minnesota/Iowa border. My wife’s grandparents owned a 40 acre farm about an hour away from Decorah. Each summer, one of the highlights of my wife’s childhood was the last weekend in July when they would travel to Decorah for their annual Nordic Festival
The Decorah Nordic Fest has been existence since 1967. What’s normally a town population of just over 8,000 balloons to as many as 75-80k through the course of Nordic Fest. So what actually is Nordic Fest? According to the official website, Jerry Aulwes, Mike Dahly, Harry Olson, Darrell Pierce and Gary Svenson enlisted the help of Vesterheim Director Marion Nelson and Women's Club member Phyllis Leseth and came up with two goals for Nordic Fest. Number one was to showcase and celebrate Decorah. Secondly, it was important for the group to celebrate the areas Scandinavian heritage. The festival features great food, competitions, a parade, and fireworks.
Years later the festival continues to grow. We love celebrating area heritage like this and when my wife told me this story, I knew the Decorah Trolls t-shirt had to happen. We figured a minor league baseball team would be the right fit with a troll like figure wearing Norwegian colors. His bat is in the shape of a club. We actually liked the lettering of this logo so much that we made a t-shirt with just the lettering. 
We actually feature another sports logo with a festival. Our Dade City Kumquats t-shirt is a tribute to the Kumquat festival held each January in Dade City Florida. Plus, we couldn’t resist designing a Kumquat swinging a bat. 
This is what sports logo designs are all about. Significance to the area is so important. A perfect example of what’s wrong with today’s logos is the soon to be defunct Worcester Sharks. Worcester Massachusetts is in the central part of the state in the seven hills. The nearest body of waters that could feature a shark is at least an hour and a half away. They were the IceCats and had a great logo but when the Sharks became the parent club, the logo changed. We need less of this in the sports logo world. 
So head to Decorah and check out the small town festival known as Nordic Fest. Or if you are in Florida try out the Kumquat festival. If you can’t make it to either, you can show of your pride by adding both baseball t-shirts to your closet. Remember, big discounts and free shipping by joining our t-shirt of the month club.
Keep being Awesome!
Gavin Spittle
Founder, Sports Logo and T-shirt Lover
Awesome Sports Logos

The Frisco RoughRiders Hit a Grand Slam With Their New Logo

The Frisco RoughRiders came into professional baseball existence in 2003 when they affiliated with the Texas Rangers as their double-A farm team. Born with a brand new, beautiful ballpark under the direction of then-ownership group, Mandalay, the RoughRiders were thought of as one of Minor League Baseball’s top organizations—a poster child for how to do things right. I always liked their logo, but by no means fell madly in love with it.

Frisco Old Logo
I was also ignorant to its particular significance. For the first time since their inception, first-year owner Chuck Greenberg and his group decided to change things up. In advance of their 2015 campaign, one of minor league baseball's flagship organizations, the Frisco RoughRiders, revealed a new identity. Club officials, season-ticketholders, community dignitaries, and members of the media gathered inside Cinemark Theatres of Frisco Square for a special unveiling.
New RoughRiders Primary Logo 

 Frisco Logos courtesy of

The change in identity aimed to celebrate the legendary Teddy Roosevelt. So, what's the connection? Well, do a little research on our nation's 26th President (who began his term immediately after the assassination of President William McKinley), and you'll realize the connection is quite strong.
New RoughRiders Alternate Logo 

Pardon me for not being the world's biggest history buff and having to use my friend, Google, but according to, Roosevelt organized the "Rough Rider Regiment," the first volunteer cavalry in the United States, which originated in Texas. Further detailing the ties--and this is so cool, by the elaborated: "Many of the Rough Riders were from the areas currently known as the cities of Frisco, Plano, and McKinney."

I always talk about how the great logos have that special connection with their city, region, or state. Some do. Some don't. I don't know that any have a stronger connection than this one. When you combine the significance of the person you are honoring with the fact that your nickname connects to a notable achievement of his AND it all originated in not just the state, but the city where you play, that's pretty awesome!

According to the RoughRiders, their new colors are technically "Scorched red, cream, slate blue, and Texas Navy," which represents "an early-twentieth century take on America's patriotic palette." Again, when you can tie things together, you are winning in a big way.

The lettering has a very classic script that sticks well with the twentieth-century theme. Instead of a dot, the "i" in Frisco and Riders is punctuated by a Lone Star State star, which is another touch that I really like.

As far as the main graphic of Teddy Roosevelt, I think it was really well done. It has the perfect mix of simple detail, sport-relevance, and, for minor league baseball, humor. I mean, come on, a smiling, bat-swinging former President? How is that not gold?

The simple detail is present from the overalls with a star-studded base to the spur/cowboy boot combo paired with the cowboy hat. In an age where everyone seems to love the mustache, they went with mustache Teddy. Oh, and instead of batting gloves, the worker gloves are there, too.

At the end of the day, this is one of the best, most genius logos in professional sports.

As I mentioned earlier in this blog, I love logos that tie to the region and that’s what I love about Awesome Sports Logos. All of our baseball sports logos tie into the region. The Idaho Taters, the Middleton Fingers, The Decorah Trolls, The Boca Raton Cougars are just a few of our awesome t-shirts that tie in baseball to some notable history in their region. Don’t forget, you can get all of these t-shirts at a sweet discount by joining our Awesome Sports Logos t-shirt of the month club.

Opening day is just over a month away. Now that’s awesome!

Thanks as always for reading,

 Jared Sandler

Awesome Sports Logos Columnist


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