When brothers Frank and Stanley  Robison took over baseball’s St. Louis Browns in 1899, they decided to change the team’s name – and its uniforms. The team would be known as The Perfectos, and the trim on its uniforms would now be red, instead of brown

Legend has it St. Louis Republic baseball scribe Willie McHale, on Opening Day, overheard a female fan exclaim, “What a lovely shade of Cardinal,” in reference to the new trim.

McHale hit one out of the park when he began using the name “Cardinals” in his column – the moniker was a homerun with fans. The Perfectos would become the Cardinals that same year. 

The team’s management didn’t think of the name “Cardinals” in terms of birds until 1921, when general manager Branch Rickey went to a meeting and came away with a design of two cardinals, each perched on a brown branch. The birds on the bat would become the logo for the team.

The first St. Louis Post-Dispatch story referring to the team as the Cardinals ran on April 29, 1900.  

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

Photo credit Roger Brandt/St. Louis Zoo