Pittsburgh Pirates’ Logo

Pittsburgh Pirates’ Logo

Being over 120 years old, the Pittsburgh Pirates have seen a fair number of styles come and go.  They have had 17 distinct logos over the years and worn a variety of colors and cuts, some of which made them pioneers.  The longest standing and least changed tradition in the Pirates’ logo is the distinct “P” on their caps.  It was adopted in the 1940’s and has remained there since even when the cap around it changed.  The “P” first became associated with the Pirates in 1900, roughly the time they started calling themselves the Pirates as a nickname while they were still the Alleghenys.  It likely had more to do with their association with Pittsburgh, though, as the previous logo had simply been the word “Pittsburgh”.

Until 1948 the Pirates used a traditional patriotic color scheme of red, white, and blue, the only distinction being in the variation of emphasis.  The “P” was either red or blue until 1931 and was seen in seven different styles including the 1908-1909  logo where a blue P above a blue C was superimposed over a red B.  In 1933 the “P” became blue with a red border, the last P to be used for 15 years.  From 1936 to 1996 the logo was some variation on a pirate’s face, varying in realism and sincerity.

The modern day logo is a scowling pirate with two crossed bats behind him, reminiscent of the Jolly Roger.  The Pirates also have an alternate logo that is simply a Jolly Roger with the word “Pirates” across the top.  Another modern day alternate logo is a P set in a circle with the words Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball and Since 1887 surrounding it.  The modern day color scheme of black and gold began in 1948, making the Pirates one of the first teams to break away from tradition.


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