Jerry Dior and the MLB logo
Last week, out of the blue, I received the following email:
I found your very interesting site and story on line recently. Rather amazing!!!
I saw your interview with Howard Smith at the MLB offices in NYC. Although I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Howard, I did try to share some important information with him about 10 years ago. I too have quite a story.
My name is Jerry Dior. I designed the Major League Baseball logo in 1968. It was done for the 100th anniversary of Major League Baseball in 1969. It was supposed to be for one year. I am delighted that MLB has continued to use it in such extensive ways.
Finally last year I had a wonderful surprise. MLB agreed to recognize my contribution and to celebrate me at both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. My family and I will be forever grateful for that acknowledgment. My story has brought me indescribable joy which I’m sure you understand. If you wish, you can read about me on line. Just google my name.
I would really like to hear from you. I can tell that you love baseball and are sharing that with others.
Be well and safe.
As great as this email was, I was a bit skeptical. Why? Because I had never heard of Jerry Dior — kind of strange considering how much random baseball trivia I know and how much I worship the MLB logo.
That’s where Google came in. I searched for his name…and wow. The guy is legit, no doubt about it. Of all the articles that have been written about him, my favorite is this one from the Wall Street Journal. Have you ever heard the rumor that the batter in the logo is based on Harmon Killebrew? I can’t count the number of times that I’ve heard someone say that — and I never knew whether or not to believe it. In the article, Dior is quoted as saying, “That’s completely untrue. It’s not Harmon Killebrew. It’s not anyone in particular.” Every part of the logo, it turns out, was pure design.
Anyway, I wrote back to Dior, and his response included the following line: “If you wish, I’ll send you a signed MLB logo. I just need an address.”
Look what arrived in the mail a few days later:
(The envelope wasn’t bent or torn when I received it, FYI.)
The envelope contained a hand-written note on an index card…
…which was taped to the back of this:
There was also a signed patch. Here’s the front…
…and here’s the back:
To give you an idea of how big these items are, I photographed them next to a baseball:
Big thanks to Jerry Dior, not only for contacting me and then generously sending me a package of goodies, but for creating one of the most beautiful and iconic and meaningful logos I’ve ever seen.