In one of the first games of postseason baseball today—the real postseason, not the play-in games—a team with a logo that Hallmark Cards designed will take on a team that once played with a Disney-designed logo. It's the Royals against the Angels, and there's plenty more weird baseball logo history where that came from.
Nearly every MLB team has tinkered with its logo dozens of times. Except the Kansas City Royals. Unlike every other team on this list, KC has only changed its primary logo once—once!—in 45 years.
But there's actually a pretty interesting history behind that never-changing logo. You see, the card company Hallmark is based in Kansas City. When the Royals became a team in 1969 they needed a logo, and they turned to Hallmark. According to a fascinating story by Seamheads, the greeting card company actually opened up the job as a competition amongst employees (you can see some of the entries above).
The winner was a packaging designer named Shannon Manning, whose design has endured ever since. Apparently, Manning still had to fight for the integrity of his design: The bosses wanted the logo to incorporate "horse heads or cow heads" in the hole of the "R" as a nod to Kansas City's livestock prowess, Manning told Seamheads. Thankfully, the logo remained bovine-free.
Now onto my beloved Angels
How the hell do the Angels exist in two cities at once? The short answer is: Money (it usually is!). Originally, the team was known as the Los Angeles Angels. In 1965, it changed its name to the California Angels because it was moving to a new stadium in Anaheim. 30 years passed, and the stadium was in tatters—until Disney, which was about to take control of the team, stepped in to renovate it. The city of Anaheim helped, and in return, it stipulated that the team's name contain Anaheim. Still with me? In 2005, a new owner decided to tack Los Angeles back onto the team's name. Which would be fine, except they were now legally required to include Anaheim, too. Finally, last year, a new lease meant that they could drop Anaheim.
The logo follows this progression: From a winged "LA" logomark to an outline of California to a universally-ridiculed baseball bat with wings designed by Disney. Now, they've got a stoic A with a halo. The moral of this story: There's no such thing as a free stadium renovation.
Let's hope that the small-ball Scioscia-lead-2002-Angles-like Royals don't beat us at our own game...