In Wednesday's Mug I mentioned a post from Andy Kendeigh of WISN, who wants the Brewers to ditch the retro uniforms and logo once and for all. It drew the attention of Craig Calcaterra of The Hardball Times, who posted about our opposition to the logo's continued use. The ball-and-glove logo is perhaps the franchise's best-known symbol, and I think it surprised him to discover that not everyone is in favor of it.
Before I say another word, let me acknowledge some things: The ball-and-glove logo was great. I own some things with the logo on them. It's easily the greatest logo in franchise history, and perhaps one of the greatest in the history of baseball and/or sports. The ball-and-glove logo and the 1982 team that wore it will always be a warm and fuzzy memory in Brewer history, and the players on that team will always carry a legendary status with Brewer fans. A dog named after Gorman Thomas is sleeping on me while I write this. With that said, it's time to move on.
The Brewers have gotten a lot of mileage over the last decade out of the retro logo. Helping fans remember a great team is a good way to help them forget that their current team is terrible. Certainly, the memories of Robin Yount and Rollie Fingers helped Brewer fans get through seasons of Jimmy Haynes, Wes Helms and Alex Sanchez. But the Brewers don't need them as a primary focus anymore.
The 26-year playoff drought is over. These aren't the 56-106 2002 Brewers anymore. They're a team coming off a playoff berth and featuring one of baseball's best nuclei of young talent. They've got two of baseball's best hitters in Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, a pitcher who could be the ace of a staff for more than a decade in Yovani Gallardo, and easily recognizable symbols like Bernie Brewer and the Racing Sausages.
The retro logo is a big moneymaker and I understand that. Since being a Brewer fan has become fashionable again, the retro logo is all over town and all over Miller Park. Even if the Brewers never wore it again, it would remain popular as part of Brewer lore, just like the Astros rainbow jersey and the White Sox shorts. But the Brewers don't need to live in the past anymore, and it's time they moved on.
i'm fine with the ball-and-glove being dusted off once or twice a year for Turn Back The Clock night, just like the Cerveceros and Negro Leagues jerseys. But Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart and others are building something special in Milwaukee right now, and I wish the Brewers organization would spend more time and effort focusing on that.