Jerry Dior and the MLB logo

Last week, out of the blue, I received the following email:

—————————————————

Hi Zack,

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.

Warm regards,

Jerry Dior

—————————————————

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:

mlb_logo_jerry_dior1.JPG

(The envelope wasn’t bent or torn when I received it, FYI.)

The envelope contained a hand-written note on an index card…

mlb_logo_jerry_dior2.JPG

…which was taped to the back of this:

mlb_logo_jerry_dior3.JPG

There was also a signed patch. Here’s the front…

mlb_logo_jerry_dior4.JPG

…and here’s the back:

mlb_logo_jerry_dior5.JPG

To give you an idea of how big these items are, I photographed them next to a baseball:

mlb_logo_jerry_dior6.JPG

Total awesomeness.

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.

10 Comments

very cool, Zack (and Jerry). Here’s a question for Jerry. Is the batter a righty or a lefty? As in, are we looking over his back (righty) or at his chest (lefty)? I usually see him as a righty with an over-the-back view. But it works both ways.
-Todd
http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com

Z and Jerry,
Thanks for sharing the story, the logo is, indeed the most recognized and appreciated logo in my life. Danny

I second Todd’s question. I tried to look at it from both perspective and figure out which one it looked more like but I couldn’t find anything to disqualify either. With the fact that it isn’t Killibrew I would say it’s a righty just because of percentages but could be either.

http://mateofischer.mlblogs.com/

Mateo

Hi Zack,

I’ve been a reader of your blog for a while now but never got to comment. I’m a 13 year old Reds superfan, autograph collector, and amateur ballhawk. Oh, and I’m a girl :)

Anyway, you’ve got a great blog, and I’d always wondered about that MLB blog. Very interesting. By any chance, could you ask Mr. Dior if he’d mind giving me his email? I’d really like to write him.

Thanks,
Meggie

Hey Zack,
Wow that is awesome. Anyway, I was woundering if since you like the Ballpark in Arlington so much for snagging you were going to make it out to Dallas next weekend for the game 3 or 4 of the World Series. Also, could you give me some pointers on how you got your world series ball and how do you find out the umpires for each game.

Thank You for everything
J.B.
http://baseballtalkinandsnaggin.mlblogs.com/

TODD & MATEO-
I asked Jerry your question, and he said, “The batter is neither right-handed or left-handed. He is nondescript as per the criteria for the project. I chose a silhouette because it met that criteria.”

DANNY-
You’re welcome. I knew you’d like it.

MEGGIE-
Thanks so much for reading my blog and leaving a comment. I will ask Jerry if he’s okay with sharing his email address with you…

BASEBALLTALKINANDSNAGGIN-
It doesn’t look like I’m gonna make it out to Arlington for the simple reason that it’s awfully expensive. The tickets alone would cost me $500 per game, the flight would be a few hundred, and then I’d still need to pay for a hotel. You can find out the umps right before the game when they’re announced, and as for the World Series ball that I snagged last year, I just worked my down to the dugout and got it from the ump after the final out.

Really cool post! I myself am a huge baseball logo fan. I absolutely love the Minor League Baseball logo. Arguably the best logo in sports. Anyways, what was the logo before Jerry designed it? I’ve tried looking for it and I can’t find it.

Thanks, but I’m not sure about the logo before Mister Dior had his way with it.

as luck would have it I was in the MLB fan Cave last week visiting my daughter April Whitzman, when I had the good fortune to meet Jerry and Mrs Dior. I had first talked to Mrs Dior and learned what she and her husband were doing in the fan cave. One thing lead to another and I had the GOOD fortune to walk away with my Allstar Game hat signed by Jerry. THANKS VERY MUCH TO THE DIORS

Very cool. Wish I could’ve met him too.

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