The St. Louis Cardinals have been a colorful franchise for generations. The name, “Cardinals,” combined graphically with two birds perched on a baseball bat, have adorned the baseball club’s uniforms with great pride and distinction since 1922. The Cardinals logos and uniforms are among the most recognized and admired brands in all of sports, and there are many legendary stories behind their evolution.
Anyone who follows baseball even a little bit is likely aware of the St. Louis Cardinals’ logos. More committed fans can probably recall a few different iterations of the team’s “birds-on-the-bat” and uniforms throughout the years.
I have had the rare opportunity and privilege to draw the current Cardinals logos as well as research, draw and catalog the complete history of Cardinals uniforms and logos form 1882 – 2016.
Three years ago I came to the realization that this body of work would make a great book. Amongst the many titles published on the history of the Cardinals franchise, none has yet to tell the story of the evolution of their graphics. Under the direction and approval of Cardinals president, Bill DeWitt III, the book process began.
With the brilliant assistance of my son Oliver Kodner, I set out to investigate, verify and redraw every iteration of the St. Louis Cardinals uniforms and logos. We started with the origin of the franchise, the 1882 St. Louis Brown Stockings owned by Chris Von der Ahe. The history is filled with surprises and variations. The evolution of the graphics was influenced by both intentional and unintentional forces. An example: in many cases new logos or birds were developed by the direction of a Cardinals owner or manager, while many others changes were the result of inherent variations of the chain-stitch sewing process or new manufacturers.
We wanted to set the record straight and correct many retro Cardinals logos and graphics that had been incorrectly rendered and misrepresented on products and apparel for years.
All logos and uniforms in the book had to be accurate and authentic. Even after completing over 300 uniformed drawings, Oliver insisted that we start over and make it more detailed and more accurate, down to the buttons, belt loops and socks. We researched and historic photos to document the uniform drawings, logos, and STL emblems on each page.
Thanks to the support and creative inspiration of Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum, we were able to realize our goal of publishing this great catalog of art and research.
—Gary Kodner, author of St. Louis Cardinals Uniforms and Logos
St. Louis Cardinals Uniforms and Logos is available for purchase at Cardinals.com/book.