The Top 10 Greatest Retro Sports Logos

A logo is what defines a team. From the classic Raiders’ silver and black, eye-patch wearing pirate to the Chicago Blackhawks’ Chief Blackhawk head on their fantastic red jerseys, there are certain logos around the sporting world that have stood the test of time. This list is not for those logos. Due to rebranding and the endless quest for people to make more money off of merchandise sales and whatever else, logos change. To make this list I simply took logos from the four major American sports just to make it easier, but other than that there are no other rules. They can come from a team that is in their current city, a logo no longer used because the team moved, or even logos for teams that no longer exist anymore. As long the team plays or played in the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL and the team no longer uses the logo as their primary one they are fair game. 


10. Montreal Expos


Starting off with a team that no longer exists, the MLB’s Montreal Expos. One of the fun things about most of these retro logos is the deeper meaning behind them, which is the exactly the case here with the Montreal Expos. The first professional baseball team outside the United States, it is clear looking from the broader logo that there is an “M” representing the city of Montreal. However, looking closer at the logo reveals the stylized “e” in red and then a “b” shadowed in blue to represent Expos baseball. The combination of the two make for a unique logo that the team used for the entire time they were in Montreal before moving to Washington D.C.


9. Buffalo Bills


A simple logo that may be on here more for its combination with the classic Bills uniforms of the AFL years. Blue is always a great color to use for football uniforms (just ask the AFL Chargers) and those awesome Bills uniforms were perfectly contrasted with this standing buffalo.


8. Denver Broncos


The classic Denver D was the Broncos logo from the merger year of 1970 until 1997 which just so happened to be the year John Elway and Denver won their first Super Bowl. Either way this a creative logo that was one of the best NFL logos at the time because of how well it fit with the rest of Broncos jerseys, either the all-orange jersey or white with blue trim. All I think of with this logo is the legendary Orange Crush defense of the late-1970s or John Elway leading The Drive in Cleveland.


7. Denver Nuggets


Another entry from the Mile High City, the Nuggets have had an array of logos from the time they were called the Denver Rockets and had Maxie Miner as their primary logo when they first joined the NBA in 1976. However it is the rainbow city that takes the cake in this case. Some call it the Tetris logo as well but this logo really accentuates the Rocky Mountains in the background and was stereotypical 1980s NBA attire, colorful and out of the box.


6. New England Patriots


The logo that the Patriots used from their inception in 1960 until 1993, this logo is easily the most creative NFL logo on the list. A Revolutionary soldier, named Pat Patriot, lining up over the ball makes it one of the more intimidating logos in all of sports as well. With the drafting of Drew Bledsoe in 1993 the Patriots changed their logo to what it is currently which is a shame because this logo is so cool. Pat Patriot is still around however as he is the name of the Patriots mascot.


5. Houston Oilers


Simple, crisp, and a logo that perfectly backs the city it represents. The Oilers used some variation of this logo for their entire time they were in Houston. The logo fit perfectly with some of the best uniforms in football in the Oilers home powder blue look. Many thought that when Houston was given back an NFL team in 2002 that they would go back to their Oiler name but they decided against it for their Texan name instead.


4. Los Angeles Kings


The first NHL logo to make the list, there is nothing flashy about this logo, but it just works. After the blockbuster trade for Wayne Gretzky, the Kings changed around their entire look from the purple and yellow Lakers look to the silver and black Raiders look. Combining the crown from their old logo with a variation of the Chevrolet logo and the racing Kings emblazoned in the middle, the logo is also a part of arguably the most iconic jersey in all of sports, Gretzky’s 99.


3. Milwaukee Brewers


Like the Expos logo earlier in the list, the Brewers use hidden items inside the logo for a broader picture. Obviously the main image is that of a baseball mitt however the designer of the logo perfectly mixed in the “m” and “b” of Milwaukee Brewers to make a logo that is visually appealing to anyone.


2. Quebec Nordiques


Love it or hate it this is one of my two favorite logos in all of sports and the logo the Nordiques used for the entire time they were in Quebec City. The color scheme goes together perfectly on the Nordiques fun and creative jerseys no matter if it was blue or white. Whether you think it is an igloo playing hockey or just an igloo with a hockey stick attached to it, this is a great logo that goes underappreciated and it is a shame that Quebec City does not have an NHL team to bring it back.


1. Hartford Whalers


A case where the logo may be more iconic then the team itself. The Whalers were never really a great team during their time in Hartford, but this famous logo completely makes up for it. There is a lot going on in this logo from the shadowed “H” highlighting the middle to the green “W” at the bottom encompassing the entire logo, a whale. This is the greatest logo in sports without question through its creativeness, uniqueness and its lasting impact in the sports world today in the city of Hartford. Their song
is catchy as well.


There you have it. Tomorrow we will do the ugliest retro logos in all of sports.




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