Awesome Sports Logos Blog

20 Sports Logos That Feature American History

Have you ever wondered where team nicknames come from? We are fascinated by them. Sports Logos that have to do with history and folklore are especially fascinating. Today, we are going to fill you in on a few sports names and the history involved. There are thousands to choose from but today, we chose 20 that stood out. 

Calgary Flames: With the franchise’s origins in Atlanta, their nickname refers to the burning of Atlanta by General William T. Sherman during the Civil War.

Dayton Flyers: The famous Wright Brothers, inventors of the airplane, hailed from Dayton. Short and sweet just like every good airplane flight.

James Madison Dukes: Named in honor of University President, Samuel P. Duke, the nickname was requested out of the appreciation for Duke for welcoming veterans of World War II with such open arms at the request of the Veterans Administration. According to the school’s website, James Madison enrolled 39 veterans in 1946 and another 101 the following year.

Kansas Jayhawks: A combination of two birds indigenous to the western U.S.? Yes. But that’s not why fans in Lawrence root for the happy-go-lucky blue and red bird. In the mid-1800s a group of pioneers migrating westward called themselves “The Jayhawks,” taking the name from different species of birds they observed along their journey. Traveling to California as a part of the gold rush, the group really has no tie to Kansas. However, years later, abolitionist militias operating in pre-statehood Kansas, according to the University’s website, adopted the name.

La Salle Explorers: According to the school’s website, the nickname is associated to the French explorer, Robert de La Salle, who explored regions of the U.S. such as the Great Lakes, Mississippi River Basin, and the Gulf of Mexico, among other discoveries. He claimed the entire Mississippi Basin and what became the Louisiana Territory for France.

Massachusetts Minutemen: A minuteman was a member of a militia company from the American Colonial Partisan Militia during the Revolutionary War. They were highly mobile and allowed colonies to provide an immediate response to threats. They played a critical role in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Mississippi Rebels: This refers to the rebel forces that fought in the American Civil War. We know them know as the Mississippi Bears. 

New Orleans Jazz: Historical from a political sense? Eh, not quite. But Jazz music has a global significance and the former NBA team was named in its honor as the birthplace of the genre. 

New York Yankees: More culturally significant than historically, a Yankee has several meanings and it depends on where you are to truly decipher which one is being applied. Domestically, it most commonly refers to people from the north that fought for the regions in the Union side of the Civil War. Outside of America, it refers to an American. 

North Carolina Tar Heels:  Several legends claim the nickname’s genesis, but one of the more common explanations refers to the Revolutionary War Era. According to legend, British General Cornwallis’ troops were fording the now-known Tar River when they discovered that tar was dumped into the stream to impede the crossing of British soldiers. After crossing the river, a soldier’s foot would be completely black with tar thus, they acquired “Tar Heels.”
Oklahoma Sooners: Turn back the clock to when President Abraham Lincoln introduced and signed the Homestead Act of 1862. The act allowed a legal settler to claim 160 acres of public land and those who lived on and improved the claim for five years could receive title. “Boomers” were settlers who favored the opening of unassigned lands in the territory of Oklahoma. Jump ahead to April 22, 1889, and I introduce you to the “Land Run of 1889,” a race for settlers from across the globe to claim their 160 acres from the Oklahoma territory. One of the few rules was that settlers had to start at the same time and those who went early were called, “Sooners.” These people were often allowed early entry legally as deputy marshals, surveyors, or railroad employees, among others. Sooner became synonymous with progressivism, according to the OU website, and was seen as a favorable label.


Old Dominion Monarchs: This has a tie to the University’s mother institution, William & Mary. The Virginia Colony, Old Dominion, was awarded its name by King Charles II after Virginia’s loyalty to the crown during the English Civil War. Then, William & Mary, whose support helped found William & Mary, ruled England at the invitation of Parliament as “joint monarchs,” thus, both are known as Monarchs.

Pennsylvania Quakers: A Quaker is a member of a family of religious movements collectively known as the “Religious Society of Friends.”  When Quakerism, which originated in England, first immigrated to America, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island were the only two colonies tolerant of the group so that is where they established stateside. William Penn, who established Pennsylvania in 1682, was a Quaker. 

Philadelphia 76ers: I’d say this one is kind of important…The hoops team in the City of Brotherly Love is named after and in honor of those who fought for the independence of the U.S.A. in 1776. 

Portland Trail Blazers: A Trail Blazer was someone who helped open up the trails for wagons to travel upon during the famous Oregon Trail, an excursion that introduced millions of people to the American West, which ended in Portland.

Robert Morris Colonials: Named in honor of Morris, himself, a Philadelphia native of great wealth during the Revolutionary period, the nickname is drawn from his story. Much of Morris’ wealth was attributed to his business as an importer, which was hit hard by the Stamp Act. Both Morris and his partner chose the side of the objecting Colonials and engaged in the movements against British rule. 

San Diego State Aztecs: Homage to the state’s history as one time member of Mexico until stolen away in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War. The Aztecs were a highly developed society in their time. 

San Francisco 49ers: One of the NFL’s most successful franchises was named after the California gold miners, specifically those who discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill, subsequently beginning the gold rush. 

Tennessee Volunteers: While I’m sure the “Volunteer State” has a great track record of traditional community service, it earned its moniker through much more dangerous labor. The nickname was earned during the War of 1812—and, particular the Battle of New Orleans—for the prominent role played by volunteer soldiers from the state of Tennessee.

Texas at El Paso Miners: Not nearly as excitingly named as others, “UTEP” was simply named due to its heavy mining community, inspired and advance by the gold mining of the west in the 1800s. While in Texas, many people fail to recognize how “West,” the city truly is. 

We at Awesome Sports Logos also feature history in our logos. That’s one of the best aspects of a sports logo is the history having to do with that area. Check them out and if you like a bunch of them, you can always sign up for our T-shirt of the Month Club.

Thanks for reading. You will now be one of the smartest people in the room when a conversation about sports logos comes up. 

Keep being awesome!

Jared Sandler
Awesome Sports Logos Columnist

The History of the Baltimore Orioles Sports Logo

Babe Ruth. Joe DiMaggio. Mickey Mantle. Derek Jeter. All of them were Baltimore Orioles. Well, kind of... 

Baseball in Baltimore is traced back to the late-1800s with teams known as "Lord Baltimore," in honor of the George Calvert, himself, the "Canaries," and, winning the award for creativeness, the "Marylands." The first Orioles team sprouted in 1882 as a charter member of the newly formed American Association, nearly a century after the bird, icterus galbula, received its name. They lasted in the AA--not to be confused with a city in Michigan or the famous non-profit dependency organization--throughout the league's short-lived tenure and then transferred into the National League in 1891. 

The Orioles established themselves as a power in the National League with their dominant play. In fact, the term, "Old Oriole" refers to a player who is tough and relentless, a staple of players from Oriole teams of that era. However, the club's fortunes turned south in 1899 when many of its stars were shipped off to the Brooklyn Dodgers, preceding the team's contraction shortly thereafter.

The Orioles got a second life, though, when the newly formed American League was blocked out of New York by the clout and power of the National League's New York Giants. So, instead of New York, the American League added a team in Baltimore for the 1901 season. The team's jerseys donned an orange, "O," thus, the creation of the "O's" moniker. The unconventional look--that of what looked like a zero on each player's jersey--was changed to a "B" the following year. Little did they know, the "B" stood for "Bye-bye," because the Orioles were soon to move along. 

The American League and National League eventually settled its location dispute so, in 1903, the Baltimore Orioles became...the New York Yankees. Yet, once again, the Orioles were granted another life as they became a minor league franchise for 50 years. As a matter of fact, Babe Ruth was briefly an Oriole as he came up through the team's system. 

As the Orioles bided their team before a return to the big stage, they settled in nicely as a minor league force,  but when the St. Louis Browns relocated to Baltimore in 1953, the Orioles were more than willing to return. This time, they became a part of Major League Baseball's American League. Here’s my favorite Orioles sports logo throughout the years. 
 

A quick sidebar note about the Browns because it has great historical value. They were St. Louis' dominant franchise as far as support goes, not the Cardinals. While they didn't have a ton of success, they are a part of a pretty notable event in baseball's history. Turn back the clock to the final day of the 1910 season. Controversial star, Ty Cobb, was wrestling with Nap Lajoie for the AL's batting title. Recognizing (through twitter, of course) that it would take a near-perfect day from Lajoie to overtake him, Cobb sat himself on the season's final day to help his case for that crown. Browns manager at the time, Jack O'Connor, like others, did not like Cobb. Thus, he order his third baseman, rookie, Red Corriden, to play on the outfield grass against Lajoie, virtually conceding a hit to him each time. Lajoie took advantage of the shift and bunted each of his first five trips to the plate, reaching each time. However, on the fifth trip, the official scorer ruled that an error allowed him to reach safely, which, statistically, gave him a hitless at-bat. A few people tried to bribe the scorer by offering as much as a brand new wardrobe, according to the St. Louis Post, but she relented. Ty Cobb won the batting title by a few thousandths of a point and O'Connor was fired and informally banned from baseball for life. And you thought today’s baseball was corrupt with performance enhancing drugs. 

I’m so glad you also asked about Awesome Sports Logos baseball teams. Oh, you didn’t? Well, I’m going to tell you about them anyway. 

The Boston Accents
 


Boston is an amazing baseball town and also a town full of thick accents. This is a real simple but clean looking baseball logo. It’s the city that doesn’t like R’s, so how do you like your, “chowdah” or we can see the Sox at “Fenway Pahk”

The Dallas Doughboys
 
 

A Doughboy is a term used to describe an American soldier. This term dates all the way back to the Mexican American War that focused around Texas. Some say it originated because many noticed that U.S. forces were constantly covered with chalky dust from marching through the dry terrain of Northern Mexico making the men look like unbaked dough. There are many other theories on the nickname, including how the infantry baked with rice and dough during war rations. I love how the rifle is a baseball bat in this logo. 

The Cape Cod Scrod
 

 

The Cape Cod Baseball League is one of the coolest summer baseball leagues in America. Free to watch and the players come into the stands with a hat for donations. If you watch the league, there is a very good chance you’ll see a future major leaguer. According to the league, 1,026 players have played in the big show. This logo is our tribute to an awesome baseball league.


Idaho Taters
 
 


Idaho is the potato capital of the United States. A “tater” is also a term used for a home run. I can’t believe there isn’t any baseball teams in Idaho with potato logos. Well, now Awesome Sports Logos has filled that void. 

Those are just 4 of the many sports logo t-shirts featured at Awesome Sports Logos. Spring Training is here. Get in the swing of things with some awesome t-shirts. 

Thanks for reading,

Jared Sandler
Awesome Sports Logo Columnist.

Akron Has a New Sports Logo and it is Awesome

We started the company Awesome Sports Logos to bring back the fun and creativity back to sports logos, something that we feel is a lost art. Therefore, we love to highlight those teams that still take great pride in sports logos and the historical aspect of the area that they are playing for.
 
Since its baseball, we’re just going to say that this team “knocked it out of the park”. This year, Akron will feature a new team name and logo for their Double A baseball team. We introduce you to the Akron RubberDucks
 
 
 
 

Huge credit to owner Ken Babby and his staff for coming up with this name. Akron is the tire capital of the United States and the birthplace of Goodyear, Firestone, Goodrich and General Tile. Akron’s nicknames have included “Rubber City” and “Rubber Capital of the World”. As far as the rest of the name, who doesn’t have memories of a Rubber Duck in some way? Many times, you can have a catchy name and the logo falls short of expectations. Not the case here. The use of the tire tread is impressive as is the facial expression of the duck. I also love the colors for merchandise. Don’t get us wrong, we’d love for you to buy our t-shirts but we also don’t mind promoting other cool gear. The more popular these logos become, the more teams will head back in the creative direction which is our ultimate goal. 
 
 

We also have an Akron sports logo, the Akron Rubbers. We had the same vision incorporating the history of the city with a cool logo. Every time I wear our Akron Rubbers t-shirt, I get asked “where did you get that cool t-shirt?”. Now Akron has two Awesome Sports Logos. The more the merrier!
 
 
 

Thanks as always for reading,

Gavin Spittle
Founder, Logo Lover, T-shirt Wearer
Awesome Sports Logos

We Go to the Movies to look at Fictional Sports Teams

Throughout the years, there have been some cool sports logos and team names in movies. Lets go down memory lane and look at some of the fictional team names and the movies they were associated with. 

 Baseball

 

5. Salt Lake Buzz--Don't have a clue where this is from? That's okay. Only the handful of unlucky folks saw Major League's third installment, which featured this fictional minor league team. Despite the movie's success--or, lack thereof--there's nothing wrong with a jersey that reads, 'Buzz' across the chest. To the common man, it represents the simple sound of a honey-seeking hornet...but dig a little deeper, and there's some versatility.

 

4. Kekambas--Honestly, who didn't cry when watching Hardball? I'd be honored to don the same threads for which G-Baby worked so hard and smiled so brightly. There's a cultural appeal with this one and it comes with Notorious BI.G.'s "Big Poppa" on a CD. 

 

3. Rockford Peaches--If it's cool to wear pink, it's gotta be twice as cool to don a jersey from the All-American Girls Professional League. Plus, some out there believe Dottie Hinson is the greatest there ever was...

 

2. New York Knights--Your hesitation in connecting the Knights to The Natural is the reason why it is sitting at number two. Plain and simple, not enough people make a connection between the two for it to catapult to the top spot. In this movie (sorry, Mike Eruzione), the name on the back--or, since the name's weren't actually on the back, metaphorically speaking--is a helluva lot more important than the name on the front. Hobbs holds way more weight than 'Knights,' but who can deny its greatness? When you walk around, the theme song should play automatically and all lights resting high up on light standards should explode as you walk by.

 

1. Bad News Bears--You may as well get used to rockin' jerseys with sponsors on the front, for all of you non-soccer fans out there to whom this concept is foreign. The major North American leagues are headed that way. So if you are going to show off a sponsor, why not Chico's Bail Bonds? But, in all honesty, is there a fictional baseball team as rich with cultural currency as the Bears? The answer is no. Give me a Kelly Leak jersey and I'll feel like the coolest guy in the room.

 

Basketball

 

5. Sunset Park--"Sunset Park what time is it? It's time to get live/It's time to represent." Who knew Rhea Perlman could coach in the hood? This is an underground hit with Terrence Howard before he blew up as an actor. Besides, Spaceman and Bizzy B might challenge Sidney Dean and Billy Hoyle as one of the best basketball movie duos. 

 

4. Western University Dolphins--One can only assume that Nick Nolte's program in the movie Blue Chips got hit so hard with sanctions that they weren't heard from for a long time...but, then again, if the fictional NCSA governed its programs like the NCAA, maybe they were issued nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Either way, we are talking about one of the greatest collections of talent ever assembled: Butch McCray, Ricky Roe, and Neon Boudeax. Never before has a Dolphin been more badass than when picture the mammouth Shaquille O'Neal dunking on a street court with a chain net rattling around as he almost tears down the hoop.

 

3. Hickory Hoosiers--Short. Sweet. To the point. When you wear this jersey, you don't even need to say a word...that's how Jimmy Chitwood would want it.Hoosiers is an awesome sports movie.

 

2. Toon Squad--It's MJ's other team in Space Jam. The Looney Tunes are sweet and Bugs Bunny is the smoothest in the game. You'll automatically have the suave to walk out with your very own Lola Bunny.

 

1. Flint Tropics--This jersey screams, "I'm here to ball, but I'm also here to party." I personally wasn't the biggest fan of Semi-Pro, but I can't deny the impact of what a crooked-toothed Will Ferrell can do for one of America's most hardened communities. 

 

Football

 

5. Faber Mongols--Whenever you can intertwine Animal House and sports, everyone goes home a winner. The best part about this? Faber Mongol, in real life, is a brand of pencil...

 

4. Washington Sentinels--"Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory lasts forever." Falco might have choked in college, but he leads a group of misfits in The Replacements who have become familiar names in sports movie conversation. Danny Bateman, Nigel Gruff, Earl Wilkinson, Jumbo, Clifford Franklin, the Jacksons, and Brian Murphy...This movie taught us that "Winners want the ball when the game is on the line..." and they also want Sentinel red.

 

3. Miami Sharks--Simple. Subtle. Like a true shark attack. Any Given Sunday represents that fascinating rock star life we all dream about at some point, but with an athletic twist. Plus, Cameron Diaz looked so good in that movie. And Al Pacino’s speech is among the greatest movie speeches around.

 

2. Mean Machine--Never before has cheering for a bunch of convicts been so acceptable. Straight up badass.

 

1. West Canaan Coyotes--The cool high school kids we always imagine we were as the days continue to trickle further and further away so that miscalculation becomes more and more believable. If you're lucky, it will even come with a letterman's jacket. If you're luckier, it will come with some whipped cream for your very own version of Varsity Blues' iconic scene.

 

Hockey

 

5. Team Iceland--While I recognize that Iceland is not a fictional country, they're certainly not a hockey powerhouse and, do any athletes ever come from Iceland? Um...no? So for that reason, they're considered fictional but they did take on the Mighty Ducks. 

 

4. Boston Blackjacks--To be honest with you, I can' recall much about the Blackjacks in Slapshot, but the name just has so much potential.

 

3. Eden Hall Warriors--Am I the only one confused how Charlie Conway went from not good enough in D2 to the too-cool-for-school jock in D3? Oh those Mighty Ducks movies. This was Mighty Ducks 3 for those of you playing at home. 

 

2. Mystery Alaska Eskimoes--I actually enjoyed the movie, but, at the very least, you've got some great lines from Mike Myers on the play-by-play. 

 

1. Charlestown Chiefs--While this sport, in general, does not have the power in its depth, you could make a strong case that this jersey trumps all. Slapshot could be the king of them all.

 

Other

 

5. Rancho Carne High Toros--Honestly, who cares about the jerseys in Bring it On. I just like that it evokes thoughts of white-hot Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, and/or Gabrielle Union. If all three don't do it for you, one of them has to...

 

4. Big Green--What is a Big Green? Who knows!? Who cares!? Use your imagination. Anytime you can get Hamilton Porter from out behind the plate to the soccer pitch, there must be good reason. Because co-ed middle school soccer teams with top-notch talent even exist...

 

3. Poughkeepsie State Flying Cougars--An underrated nugget of comedy from Dodgeball

 

2. Average Joe's--Some might wonder why this isn't number one, but it is just a little too common for me not to throw a hidden gem slightly ahead. But its cultural currency is undeniable and the personalities for which this jersey fits is endless. Dodgeball is a true sports classic. 

 

1. Milwaukee Beers--BASEketball is not clearly baseball or basketball, so it fits in the other category. Buyer beware...if you rock this top, you better have some pretty sweet psyche outs.

 
Hopefully this blog brings back some awesome sports memories. Speaking of fictional, the biggest compliment we get at Awesome Sports Logos is, "are these teams real?". We do offer five real Panamanian Basketball League t-shirts but the rest are made up. That's actually the best part because we have no restrictions. Many of you have bought our t-shirts and I can't thank you enough. For those that haven't, you might want to try out our T-shirt of the Month Club. Big savings, free shipping and instead of getting just bills in the mail, you get an awesome t-shirt to add to your wardrobe. 
 
Thanks as always for reading!
 
 
 Jared Sandler
Awesome Sports Logos Columnist 
 

 

Actress Amy Vorpahl Digs Awesome Sports Logos

We love it when people show off our t-shirts and we want to feature each and every one of you on our site. We have an awesome photo gallery of so many of you and we can’t thank you enough for representing Awesome Sports Logos all over the world. You guys are awesome!!
We got these pics from Hollywood the other day of actress Amy Vorpahl. Amy is a native Texan and that’s not the only reason we love her. Amy is hilarious and she most recently was on ABC’s hit comedy Super Fun Night with Rebel Wilson.
 
 
 
 
We dig the action shot!
 
 
 
 
 
Amy is sporting the Beverly Hills Fighting Chiweenies t-shirt which is perfect to strut around Hollywood in. You are awesome Amy!  Keep up the great work and we look forward to seeing more of you on the big screen soon. Thanks for representing Awesome Sports Logos!!
 
Gavin Spittle
Founder, Logo Lover, T-shirt Wearer
Awesome Sports Logos 
 
 
 

How Pittsburgh Named Their Team the Pirates

Here's a joke for you: What do you call a team that signs players away from other teams by offering them more money than what is socially acceptable? The Yankees (insert courtesy laugh). 
 
That joke warrants a fake laugh now, but over 100 years ago, that method of building a team actually earned one of baseball’s longest standing franchises its nickname. Pittsburgh’s professional baseball history dates back to 1882…kind of. Back in the late 1800’s, Pittsburgh was considered a separate city from Allegheny, named for the Allegheny River. The standings identified “Allegheny,” and not Pittsburgh. The Alleghenys (note: stylistically, it was “-ys” and not “-ies”) played in the American Association until 1886, when the team moved to the National League before the start of the 1887 season. Three years later, the Alleghenys made a decision that would shape the course of its franchise’s history. 
 
Prior to the start of the 1890 season, the franchise re-identified itself as “Pittsburg,”—at that time the ever-so-important “h” was not a part of the name—and acquired Lou Bierbauer, arguably the team’s most significant transaction of all-time. Bierbauer was a good second baseman, but nothing crazy. A career .267 hitter, Bierbauer collected 1,521 hits and 835 runs batted in during his 13-year career. Why so significant? [read as “The Joker” in the Batman series]. Let me introduce you to the “steroids” of the late-19th century.
 
In 2014, a pitcher with zero MLB experience gets paid more than $20 million in annual salary. In 1888, owners established rules that—get this craziness—paid players according to their production by categorizing them and ranking them. The problem is that, because this was orchestrated by the owners, they eventually froze players’ salaries. Fortunately for the ballplayers, Columbia Law School graduate, John Montgomery Ward, who played in the Majors in the late-1800’s, founded the “Brotherhood of Base Ball Players,” the MLBPA before the MLBPA existed. The BoBBB’s intentions were to protect the interests of the players. Since the owners never consulted the players about their new ranking system, the players not only were not happy, but they had a voice to express their feelings through Ward’s creation. 
 
Despite their efforts to work with the owners, the players ended up revolting and formed the “Players League” in 1890. With financial backing, the league thrived in attendance, easily besting its competing leagues. In spite of this, the league lasted just one year. Upon the league’s disbanding, its players were supposed to return to their previous teams. In order for this to happen, however, their teams were supposed to “reserve” each player, a process that was a mere formality. See where this is going? No? Not yet?
 
The Philadelphia Athletics failed to reserve Bierbauer (and Harry Stover) so Pittsburg jumped at the chance to sign them. Despite Philadelphia’s protests, the board ruled in Pittsburg’s favor, allowing their in-state rivals to keep the second baseman. Unhappy with the end-result, the Athletics resorted to everyone’s favorite mode of redemption: name-calling. They cited the Pittsburg organization as “Pirates” because they “stole” their players. Well, name-calling is an unsung hero in this case because the name stuck and we are thankfully calling Pittsburg the Pirates and not the “Rivers” or something weird because of it. 
 
 
 
So, while the Texas Rangers weren’t run by actual law enforcers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are only partially run by real angels, the Pittsburgh Pirates were, in fact, run by Pirates…in a weird way. 
 
Did you know? The Pittsburgh Steelers, who rented out the Pirates’ Forbes Field when they came into existence, were originally known as the Pirates. And that’s not all…the short-lived NHL franchise, the Pittsburgh Pirates, existed in the 1920’s and 1930’s. 
 
We wish we had a Pittsburgh t-shirt to showcase but we'll get there because "The Steel City" is at the top of our list as far as cool places to visit. We do feature an interesting Pennsylvania team, the Intercourse Witnesses. Intercourse is where the Amish live and the movie "Witness" with Harrison Ford nominated for multiple Academy Awards was filmed in Intercourse. Awesome history makes an awesome sports logo.  
 
 Intercourse Witnesses
 
As always, thanks for reading!
 
Jared Sandler
Awesome Sports Logos Columnist 

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