Minor League Baseball has a new logo, one that looks awfully familiar.
The new MiLB logo is designed to echo the Major League Baseball logo. It’s the same stylized batter as the MLB logo, although in different colors, without the baseball and with the four stars that signify the four levels of full-season baseball.
What does it mean? The logo clearly indicates Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball are now closely linked, even if the non-MLB blue color scheme also indicates that it’s clearly not the MLB logo.
This is technically the second new logo that MiLB has unveiled since Major League Baseball took over the operations of the minors before the 2021 season. That first logo switch was so minor as to hardly be noticeable. This re-branding of the MiLB logo that has been expected since the MLB takeover.
“Obviously there is incredible fan recognition of what Minor League Baseball is. They understand that these are the future stars of tomorrow. But when we put the MiLB mark in front of them, very few people knew that (the logo) was the mark of Minor League Baseball,” MLB Senior Vice President of Business Development Casey Brett said.
“We wanted it to be something where the mark and color schemes could stand out on its own. We think we really created a strong connection to the MLB logo, but the stars evoke what makes MiLB special,” Brett said.
It’s a logo, so trying to assign deep intent to a graphic may seem a little over-the-top, but these are the types of decisions that organizations spend countless hours perfecting. Every aspect of a logo like this has intention to it. The decision to tie MiLB’s look to MLB is an intentional aspect of MLB commissioner Rob Manfred’s efforts to implement ‘One Baseball,’ where MLB serves as the driving agent behind growing baseball’s popularity at all levels.
MiLB teams and owners had been expecting a rebrand since MLB took over. It is also notable what has not happened with this new mark.
While there is a new logo, Minor League Baseball (MiLB) has the same name as before. There had been plenty of expectations among people around the minors that MLB might fully re-brand the minors to a different name or sell the name in a naming rights deal.
Instead, MLB used the name that has always been associated with the developmental pro leagues, even going back to the time when Minor League Baseball was officially the “National Association.” The Minor League Baseball name went from colloquial to official when MiLB wanted to ensure that independent leagues couldn’t brand themselves as “minor leagues.”
“We did consider alternative names. Sometimes people looked at Minor League Baseball and thought, ‘I don’t like the word “minor.’ There’s nothing minor about Minor League Baseball. What we think of as really classic and important is there is a lot of history of the usage of Minor League Baseball. When a player is being sent down to or promoted, you refer to it as being sent to the minors. That’s lasted for over 100 years. It’s the farm system for parent clubs. To take the elements of the logo to modernize it. It was a no-brainer after a long period of research. We’re going to keep the name. We needed to do a lot of work with the brand itself to create that true connection,” Brett said.
The new logo will be steadily rolled out over the next year, but considering the lead time of baseballs, caps and many other items, it likely won’t fully replace the old brand at ballparks for a while.
“The relationship between Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball has never been stronger, and this new brand identity is a testament to that strength,” said Morgan Sword, Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations. “MiLB, its players, and its fans play a critical role in our efforts to grow baseball’s popularity around the globe, and we are thrilled to introduce a new logo signifying that opportunity.”