The Cardinals Logo is Born: February 16, 1921

St. Louis Cardinals Vintage Jersey
Courtesy St. Louis Cardinals LLC

The St. Louis Cardinals’ iconic “birds on the bat” logo has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century. The logo was first introduced in 1922 under the leadership of Branch Rickey, who was the team’s general manager at the time. Rickey wanted to create a distinctive and attractive team emblem that would set the Cardinals apart from other teams.

According to a blog post from, the adoption of the birds on the bat logo was, in many ways, a twist of fate. It began when Allie May Schmidt, who is credited as the logo’s original creator, was searching for inspiration. Schmidt was in charge of creating decorations for a meeting of the Men’s Fellowship Club in Ferguson set to take place on February 16, 1921. Out her window she noticed two cardinals sitting on a snowy branch, and she immediately thought of a design, incorporating the redbirds, that would complement the other decorations she had planned.

It happened that Branch Rickey was the keynote speaker for the meeting that night. Already thinking about possible logos for the team he managed, Rickey began chatting with Schmidt’s father Edward, who worked as an art director. Eventually it was decided that Edward would create a drawing based on his daughter’s design, and this is what led to the Cardinals adopting their now-iconic logo.

The original design featured a single cardinal perched on a baseball bat. The logo quickly became popular with fans and players alike, and it has undergone several modifications over the years. In 1926, a second cardinal was added to the design, and the birds and bat were positioned over the word “Cardinals” written in script.

The “birds on the bat” logo has become one of the most recognizable symbols in baseball and has remained a central part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ team identity for nearly a century, and it’s all thanks to a chance meeting on this date in Missouri history.