From SABR member Todd Radom at The Sporting News on February 19, 2016:
The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of a baseball logo classic, the Orioles’ cartoon bird. The bird was worn on Baltimore’s caps for 23 seasons, and then fell into disuse for another 23 seasons. Its 2012 restoration is linked to the Orioles’ return to baseball relevance after years in American League East cellar.
The original cartoon bird — or “smiling bird” — came into the world at the very moment the Orioles were emerging as a powerhouse franchise. Baltimore won its first World Series title the season it was introduced, 1966. After that came Fall Classic wins in 1970 and 1983, along with American League pennants in 1969, 1971 and 1979.
The logo was created by Hollywood animation studio Quartet Films, under the direction of animator Stan Walsh. While Walsh is often given credit as the artist responsible for this bird, the work was actually done by Paul Carlson, who was art-directed by Walsh.
In 1965, Jerold Hoffberger, who also owned Baltimore’s National Brewing Company, acquired a controlling interest in the Orioles. He brought over National Brewing advertising executive Frank Cashen to help promote the team. Cashen, later the architect of World Series winners with Baltimore and the Mets, addressed the topic in his book “Winning in Both Leagues”
Originally published: February 22, 2016. Last Updated: February 22, 2016.