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westofyou
01-03-2007, 03:53 PM
Welcome back,
To that same old place that you laughed about.

Well the names have all changed since you hung around,
But those dreams have remained and they’re turned around.

The Cincinnati Reds kicked off their off season this year with the unveiling of some new uniforms. One thing about these uniforms is that they try and reach to the past and grab some of the style the Reds possessed in prior eras, strangely enough both eras were marked with more incidents of losing then winning, but let’s not pick nits. Enquirer writer John Erardi informed us that the Reds in the 1890’s would display the new uniform in a store window; this attempt also was intended to create a buzz about the upcoming season and maybe sell some tickets, or at least some dreams. This all was the reason for the stage show the other evening with a strutting Mr. Red and the new uniform displayed under the lights.

Reds owner Bob Castellini was behind the uniform change, and if it is indeed a season long job it looks as though Castellini was prepared with marketing data the minute he took over Carl’s office. But seriously, who doesn’t love uniforms more then the guys that don’t have to wear them? Sidney Weil owned the Reds for a shorter time then most Reds owners, but was able to get on the field in the knickers of his beloved Reds almost immediately after he took over.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/weil_uniform.jpg

I don’t think Bob sees himself as the same sort, so instead he went to remake the image of the Reds from his youth.

Remember when you were 14 years old?

Remember the stuff you loved?

The stuff you might have thought as being “too cool”?

Bob must.

In 1953 the Reds decided to change the teams name from “Reds” to “Red Legs” This change was noted by several of the larger newspapers in the country.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/redleg53a.gif

http://baseballminutia.com/images/redleg53.gif

Now it’s true that the Reds were once known as the Red Stockings, but that was in their pre league existence. In fact the Enquire refers to the cities entry as the “Reds” in an article about opening day in the inaugural season (1876) for the National League. This practice continued in the majority of the vernacular that surrounding the game for the next 75 years. In fact a search in a database of major newspapers prior to 1953 only reveals the use of the name Cincinnati Redlegs” a grand total of 51 times, the first time in the Chicago Tribune in 1909. The Sporting News, which was known as “The Bible of Baseball” began publication in 1886, and the first time the Reds are referred to as the Redlegs is in 1936. The writer is also the Cincinnati Post’s baseball editor Tom Swope; a man who wrote about the Reds from 1915 to 1956 (Earl Lawson eventually replaced him as the stringer for TSN and the most respected writer following the Reds.) Swope’s use was likely more a local nickname then a national one, however that all changed in 1953. After the name change the Redlegs could be found in the same search over the next 8 years found the use of Cincinnati Redlegs a total of 4023 times.

In 1959 the Reds decided switch the name back to Reds, the communists we’re still in power, but the Reds cared less about the association and Reds GM Gabe Paul and Owner Powell Crosley obviously felt that they had the right to change their mind on the issue.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/redleg59.gif

From 1962 on the name “Redlegs” was found in relation to the Reds only 149 times in the name search, the last reference to the Reds as being the Redlegs in TSN was oddly enough in the obituary of ex Red Larry Kopf in 1986.

The odd part was Larry was always a Red, but never a Redleg.

Or was he?

Back to the name change, for seven years the Cincinnati team name was the Redlegs, starting in 1953, which would be around the time that current the Reds owner was just beginning his teen existence.

Also of note is that in 1953 the most famous “Red Stocking” Harry Wright was elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Two years later the Reds paid homage to the bygone romantic Victorian era of the 19th century, this was done when the Reds introduced a new secondary logo to the teams’ brand.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/head.gif

This logo was named “Mr. Redleg” and was placed on the 1955 and 1956 Uniforms

For the 1955 season the logo was only placed on the left sleeve of both the home and the road uniform.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/56.gif


http://baseballminutia.com/images/arm.jpg

As the 1956 season started Bob Castellini was in the neighborhood of 16 years old. Also coming of age that year was the long dormant Cincinnati Reds, the 1956 team is one of the Reds most successful Reds teams that didn’t win anything. Much of this historic popularity falls on the fact that team was a slugging outfit that fell short of winning anything significant, also the team sported Mr. Red Leg on the chest of another set of the newly designed uniforms. Ones that sported vests, which ironically is the same style that is leaving the Reds clubhouse this season.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/55.gif

http://baseballminutia.com/images/brook.jpg

The following year Mr. Red disappeared off the local nines uniforms and lingered in the background as the teams secondary logo, briefly making an appearance as the Reds main Logo in 1960, for the sum total of one season.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/head2.gif

1960 was and has been the only season in team history that the main brand of the Reds (a large wishbone “C” which had (and would again later) encased the name “Reds”) was not the team’s primary logo. Following the 1960 season the name Reds again appeared on the Reds logo and the wishbone C returned, this also marked the first appearance of black in the logo.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/61reds.gif

After that Mr. Redleg remained a secondary symbol, lurking in the background, an image now as familiar to the Reds as the coke bottle image is to Coca Cola, yet not as powerful as wishbone “C” just as the script lettering that spells out Coca Cola surpasses the bottle as the key imagery of that particular brand. But the future didn’t look good for Mr. Redleg in conservative Cincinnati, and when Bob Howsam arrived on the scene in 1967 he recognized this.

Almost cut my hair
Happened just the other day
It’s gettin’ kind of long
I could’ve said it was in my way

A year after Howsam arrived he cleaned up the hairy face of Mr. Redleg and changed him to fit the image that he was instilling in the Reds, the Reds that would become the Big Red Machine, a team marked by their lack of tolerance for long hair or altered appearances. By 1972 The Reds had incorporated the secondary brand symbol with the primary brand and produced the running man and the wishbone C as the main logo.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/run.gif

The addition of the running Mr. Red to the wishbone C helped mark the change from the Older Crosley Field to the newer and more futuristic Riverfront Stadium, the change was further marked by the teams increased team speed (the team increased stolen bases from 59 in 1971 to 140 in 1972.) The Mr. Red running man disappeared after the 1993 season and once again the primary team logo once again became the wishbone C, without a hint of the running man as anything more then a secondary logo. He was to reappear in 1999 with a new look, sporting the reintroduced “vest style” uniform (with pinstripes) running to the left, a direction the prior Mr. Red running man was running from.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/run99.gif

So here we sit today once again the Reds brand shifts under the weight of a franchise that has a deep history and a plain, yet malleable nickname that has enable them to mix and match odd brand characters, name combinations and even simple graphic design.

One things for sure the dark shadowing of the new font is too heavy for my taste, creating an illusion of 3 dimensional space on an actual 3 dimensional being is a bit too much for my taste, but that’s my one complaint about the new duds trotted out by the Reds.


http://baseballminutia.com/images/font.jpg

RANDY IN INDY
01-03-2007, 04:09 PM
:beerme: Excellent!

Johnny Footstool
01-03-2007, 04:35 PM
Notice how the Mr. Baseball logo is different on the uniforms. The logo woy posted has a nice, broad grin, but the logo on the old uniforms has a narrower, angled "smile". I have this old logo on a t-shirt, and the angle of the mouth makes Mr. Baseball look like a hungry vampire baring his fangs.

StillFunkyB
01-03-2007, 05:21 PM
I don't mind the drop shadow on the numbers.

I DO NOT like it on the names.

Spitball
01-03-2007, 05:27 PM
Great job, woy! Do the Reds now look like the Angels?

Yachtzee
01-04-2007, 12:47 PM
Wonderful breakdown of Mr. "Redleg's" history. I have a t-shirt and a hat that I bought years ago with the old Mr. Redleg logo on them. What was once retro is suddenly rather timely.

BCubb2003
01-04-2007, 01:51 PM
http://baseballminutia.com/images/run.gif

The addition of the running Mr. Red to the wishbone C helped mark the change from the Older Crosley Field to the newer and more futuristic Riverfront Stadium, the change was further marked by the teams increased team speed (the team increased stolen bases from 59 in 1971 to 140 in 1972.)


What activity should Mr. Red be doing to represent the current team?

RedFanAlways1966
01-04-2007, 02:07 PM
Thank you for a great read, woy! :thumbup: :thumbup:

Redsland
01-04-2007, 02:37 PM
What activity should Mr. Red be doing to represent the current team?
Scrapping?

westofyou
01-04-2007, 02:54 PM
What activity should Mr. Red be doing to represent the current team?

Good question. Perhaps we'll have to wait 4 years like Howsam did before we get another change. I'd say he should probably wear his glove.

macro
01-04-2007, 03:08 PM
Great stuff, woy! Thanks!

The 1972-92 logo will always be my favorite. The 1999 Mr. Red just never looked right outside the wishbone "C", and I never liked him running to the left.

Off-topic, in a way, but this bugs me about the Bengals logo, as well. The tiger is leaping to the left, and on the logo that's just the head, he's looking to the left. Apparently I'm not the only one that thinks that doesn't look right. The JC Penny Christmas catalog always inverts the picture to make him look to the right, and I think it was FOX sports that did the same thing for their on-screen graphics in the two games they carried the Bengals this year.

Sorry for the tangent.

registerthis
01-04-2007, 03:31 PM
Notice how the Mr. Baseball logo is different on the uniforms. The logo woy posted has a nice, broad grin, but the logo on the old uniforms has a narrower, angled "smile". I have this old logo on a t-shirt, and the angle of the mouth makes Mr. Baseball look like a hungry vampire baring his fangs.

This Mr. Red looks downright evil:

http://baseballminutia.com/images/arm.jpg

registerthis
01-04-2007, 03:32 PM
What activity should Mr. Red be doing to represent the current team?

Looking over his left shoulder at another Milton Moonshot?

Johnny Footstool
01-04-2007, 03:55 PM
This Mr. Red looks downright evil:

http://baseballminutia.com/images/arm.jpg

Angled eyebrows, the curly mustache, and that ghoulish grin make him look like an old-timey, tie-the-girl-to-the-railroad-tracks villain.

Yachtzee
01-04-2007, 05:49 PM
This Mr. Red looks downright evil:

http://baseballminutia.com/images/arm.jpg

Snidely Whiplash

http://www.silverbearcafe.com/private/images/snidely.jpg

vaticanplum
01-04-2007, 06:34 PM
woy, why did Mr. Red turn around?

dsmith421
01-04-2007, 06:38 PM
woy, why did Mr. Red turn around?

Judging by the team's fortunes since 1999, I'd say he's now running away from success.

westofyou
01-04-2007, 06:45 PM
woy, why did Mr. Red turn around?

Probably to reveal the Reds logo on the left side of the jersey.

vaticanplum
01-04-2007, 06:55 PM
Probably to reveal the Reds logo on the left side of the jersey.

Brilliant!

Reds/Flyers Fan
01-06-2007, 01:20 AM
What activity should Mr. Red be doing to represent the current team?

Sleeping.

WVRedsFan
01-06-2007, 03:22 AM
Great post. Just wondering. the 1961-63 Reds uniforms abandoned the wishbone-C for a more common C with "reds" in the middle surrounded by dark blue. Any insight on why that happened. It's the only time in my lifetime the wishbone-C wasn't used.

westofyou
01-06-2007, 11:42 AM
Great post. Just wondering. the 1961-63 Reds uniforms abandoned the wishbone-C for a more common C with "reds" in the middle surrounded by dark blue. Any insight on why that happened. It's the only time in my lifetime the wishbone-C wasn't used.
It coincides with an ownership change, so chances are good that that was part of the decision. This is the logo before/during/after the Dewitt era


http://www.sportslogos.net/images/teams/primaries/2916.gif


http://www.sportslogos.net/images/teams/primaries/2918.gif


http://www.sportslogos.net/images/teams/primaries/2919.gif

Highlifeman21
01-06-2007, 12:00 PM
As long as we see that picture of #19 on a regular basis patrolling CF, they could wear hot pink uniforms for all I care.

RANDY IN INDY
01-06-2007, 12:48 PM
Still don't get it with Denorfia, but again, I once thought Gary Redus was going to be really good. :dunno: I can only credit it to being young.

Falls City Beer
01-06-2007, 12:52 PM
What activity should Mr. Red be doing to represent the current team?

Jumping into the Ohio with a bag of rocks. Though I imagine that would be hard to render in a simple graphic.

Maybe just X's for eyes?

westofyou
01-06-2007, 12:55 PM
Still don't get it with Denorfia, but again, I once thought Gary Redus was going to be really good. :dunno: I can only credit it to being young.

Eddie Milner could pick it, he too was just a ship passing in the night.

In the uniform, sure glad it ain't pink.


Jumping into the Ohio with a bag of rocks.

Hard to to root for 7 days a week, but we manage.

RANDY IN INDY
01-06-2007, 04:08 PM
I don't know about not caring about the pink uniforms either. I'm glad it ain't pink either.

WVRedsFan
01-06-2007, 05:07 PM
It coincides with an ownership change, so chances are good that that was part of the decision. This is the logo before/during/after the Dewitt era


http://www.sportslogos.net/images/teams/primaries/2916.gif


http://www.sportslogos.net/images/teams/primaries/2918.gif


http://www.sportslogos.net/images/teams/primaries/2919.gif
ONly problem with that is the C was not wishbone in 1961 and later. It was a thin C with the "REDS" in the middle in red and black as the background. The Reds had never had a logo like that in my memory before or since. Notice Joey Jay's uniform below

http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/nl/cincyreds/JJayCin.jpg

westofyou
01-06-2007, 07:13 PM
ONly problem with that is the C was not wishbone in 1961 and later. It was a thin C with the "REDS" in the middle in red and black as the background. The Reds had never had a logo like that in my memory before or since. Notice Joey Jay's uniform below


Yep I see it first appear in 1961 too. There is a picture of Don Zimmer in Reds in Black & White: 100 Years of Cincinnati Reds Images (http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/cin/ballpark/museum/hof_shop.jsp) and he only played in 1962, that shows it pretty well.

Why did they do it? probably to get away from the serif on the C, the early 60's was the era of modernization and that font is more clean and post modern then old school. Obviously DeWitt was involved in it because he was there when it started and gone when it ended.

Ron Madden
01-08-2007, 03:06 AM
What activity should Mr. Red be doing to represent the current team?

Holding a microphone calling PBP. ;)