In a move that was not previously announced, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a fairly significant change to one of the more classic uniforms in sports, adding a new batting helmet in their home opener on Tuesday with a feature never seen before in Major League Baseball — a logo created with a 3-D printer.
In addition to the logo, the Dodgers also changed the paint from a glossy to a matte blue. That is rare, but has become more common in recent years with teams like the Pirates and Padres making the switch to matte helmets.
Rather, it is the 3-D logo that is so unusual, especially for a team like the Dodgers with their classic and conservative style. Here is what the logo looks like up close.
Paul Lukas of ESPN was the first to report on the new helmets and spoke with the Dodgers about the inspiration and the design. The team told Lukas that the logos were created using a 3-D printer and the nose bumpers on football helmets (the small logo at the top of the facemask) gave them the idea.
“[Dodgers chief marketing officer Lon Rosen] loves for us to be the first to do things, but he didn’t realise that other teams had already gone with the matte,” Ross Yoshida, the Dodgers’ director of graphic design told Lukas. “I said, ‘Lon, the Diamondbacks and Pirates have already done that. But we could do something new with the logo.’ Then I thought about football helmet nose bumpers. Nobody had ever done that in baseball. So that was the inspiration.”
You can see that it definitely adds a new drop-shadow to the look.
And here is the helmet next to their old helmet.
As Lukas noted, the Dodgers are not the first team with a raised logo. The logo on the Chicago Cubs’ batting helmets are a felt patch, but don’t have nearly the same 3-D impact of the Dodgers’ new logo.
One issue the Dodgers may run into is that nobody knows how sturdy the new logos will be. Since they were not tested in spring training, nobody knows how easily they can be knocked off and it is possible we will see some logo-less helmets during the course of the season.