1949—In Which the Cardinals' Cardinals Lost Their Chubbiness


The St Louis Cardinals "birds on bat" have been a venerated visual staple for the team since they were introduced in 1922. Over the years they have been updated on occasion—around a dozen subtle variations have evolved into today's Cardinals birds, about to hit the field for their 19th World Series.

The club won three World Series titles in the 1940s wearing these jerseys:


The Cardinals were a team in organization transition by the end of the 1940s. Like many MLB clubs, they opted to "professionalize" their branding at this time, seeking to capitalize on the post-World War II economic boom.

With this in mind, team owners Fred Saigh and Robert Hannegan announced changes to their club's visuals in December 1948:

1949 STL

Interestingly, the Cardinals again revised their birds only two years later; this variation would take them up to 1955. The following season the club eliminated the birds entirely, opting for a script "Cardinals," a change which lasted but one season—and another story for another time.