An exhaustive breakdown of the all-time most colorful and most creative MLB team slogans
Team slogans can be wonderful bits of baseball history. They're like a little snapshot in time -- a glimpse of where a team and a fanbase were at the start of any given year, and where they wanted to go.
These catchy little turns of phrase can come in all shapes and sizes: They can be aspirational, or determined, or excited, or motivational. And, like virtually every aspect of baseball history, they can also get ... pretty weird, which is what brings us here today. Below is a survey of some of the oddest and most original slogans MLB has ever seen, broken down into a few major categories. There's caps lock. There's mojo. There are exclamation points. Take a look:
Call to action!
The 2003 Phillies: Look back, look ahead, look now
No, seriously, look now because THE HOT DOG CANNON HAS FALLEN INTO IMPERIAL HANDS RUN:
The 1979 Mets: Bring your kids to see our kids
Sadly, our research suggests that the 1979 Mets were not filled entirely with bat-flipping Wiffle ball all-stars, but we'd like to go on record as being totally on board with that.
The 2003 Expos: Come see the Expos for all the right reasons
Right reasons to watch the Expos: Getting to watch baseball; Youppi; Vlad; poutine.
Oddly unsettling reasons to watch the Expos: ... Youppi
The 2001 Twins: Get to know 'em
While "acquaint yourself with your local team!" seems like an odd sentiment to market, it actually proved surprisingly prescient -- behind relative unknowns like Torii Hunter and Doug Mientkiewicz, Minnesota went from last place in 2000 to second place and 85 wins the next year, starting a string of six consecutive winning seasons. It also gave us third baseman Corey Koskie's head superimposed on some rolling hills:
And their first-round Draft pick that year? They chose some kid named Joe Mauer, who you might have since gotten to know.
The 1984 Giants: Hang in there!
No, seriously, it was "Hang in there!" As you might imagine, the 1984 Giants finished 66-96. They did boast Dusty Baker, Jack Clark and Chili Davis in the outfield, though, which is worth the price of admission alone.
Attend the Church of Baseball
The 2003 Padres: Taking you there
... wait, is this a ride-share program? Where are we going? The ballpark? A puppy-filled Photo Day Valhalla?
The 2001 D-backs: Make it a part of you
If by "it" you mean this delicious cheeseburger hot dog, the answer is "don't mind if we do."
The 2003 D-backs: Is it a part of you?
If by "it" you mean that delicious cheeseburger hot dog, the answer is "probably until some time in 2020."
The 2009 Rays: We are one team
"We can do this the easy way, or Iggy can absorb you into the hive mind."
Just a bit disconcerting
The 2007 Phillies: Goosebumps -- what will they do for you?
Suddenly, Philly's historic comeback to take the NL East crown makes a lot more sense -- Ryan Howard was really the Living Dummy! Jimmy Rollins was the Werewolf of Fever Swamp! Chase Utley was that weird plant thing growing in the basement!
The 2008 Rangers: You could use some baseball
You have a fever, and the only cure ... is more Rangers baseball.
The 2001 Expos: It's your call
Hey, come on down to the ballpark. Or don't, up to you. Your call. Just know that Youppi will have something to say about it.
The 2006 Twins: Smell 'em
Wait, we can explain: This one actually began in the clubhouse -- backup catcher Mark Redmond started instructing his teammates to "smell those RBIs" when there were runners on base. As the '06 Twins stormed to 96 wins and an AL Central title, that odd bit of advice became a full-on rallying cry, with an actual logo and everything. Years later, Ervin Santana is still taking it very, very seriously.
The 2003 Royals: Kansas City Royals: Your hometown team
Sure, this might seem strange at first glance -- but when you're in the midst of a decades-long crop circle war for territorial supremacy, you need all the help you can get.
The 2011 Royals: Major League moments
Reassertion of MLB status, or sly advertisement of a season-long "Major League" reenactment?
The 2011 Astros: We are your Astros
"Hello, it is us, the Astros, just making sure that you know we are, in fact, the Astros. Carry on."
It's Baseball o'Clock
The 2006 Mets: The team, the time, the Mets
Heading into 2006, the Mets had traded for Carlos Delgado and Paul Lo Duca, signed Billy Wagner and were geared up for a run at the pennant. This is our year! This is our time! We have the retro rap anthem to prove it! And Endy Chavez almost got them all the way there:
The 1999 Angels: RIGHT NOW!
In the Angels' defense, this was part of a tie-in with the Van Halen song of the same name, and you can't incorporate Van Halen into your slogan and not crank it to 11. And we have just the thing to honor its 10th anniversary -- the 2019 Angels: Owners of the Night.
It's ... not quite Baseball O'clock
The 2005 and 2006 Rays: Under construction
Hey, Tampa had only been in MLB for a few years at this point, so it's understandable for them to ask for a little time. Give them a couple of years, and who knows, maybe they'll even make the World Series.
Of or related to Mojo
The 2001 Mariners: Sodo Mojo
"Sodo" stands for South of Downtown, where Safeco Field happens to be located. All the '01 M's did was rattle off a record-tying 116 regular-season wins, so clearly all credit must go to the mojo. Long live the mojo! Which brings us to ...
The 2003 Mariners: Viva La Mojo
After two more 90-win, undoubtedly mojo-fueled seasons, however, Seattle began to slip in the mid-'00s. Things looked grim. Only one thing could save them now.
The 2008 Mariners: Mojo Risin'
Rise, mojo! Sure, the 2008 team went 61-101, but it rebounded in 2009, finishing at 85-77 -- clearly, the mojo just needed some time to get warmed up.