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Orioles welcome back cartoon bird as they unveil 2012 uniforms

November 15, 2011|By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun

"You want to update the uniforms while leaving the tradition intact," Ganis said. "The fact that they are going back to the old cartoon bird tells me that they are trying to target younger fans more. That will also remind fans of the great successes the team had back then.

"People will want to get the current, up-to-date uniforms and caps and other merchandise," Ganis added. "People aren't going to buy one player's jersey three times -- unless there is a uniform change."

Although the Orioles haven't officially worn the cartoon bird in 23 years, at least one player donned it all of 2011. Catcher Matt Wieters used a throwback helmet with the logo while behind the plate last season.

Fans jammed message boards praising Wieters' choice in helmetwear. And though Bader said that didn't have any bearing on the decision, the response to Wieters' choice reinforced the Orioles' sense that fans would embrace a change.

"When we saw Wieters wear that, we thought it was a fun coincidence because there was no planning of that. That this wasn't like a soft rollout; it was something that Matt wanted to do and we found great because it did kind of give a small preview to what fans could expect," Bader said. "And the fact that that created as much interest as it did gave us the belief that, ultimately, the unveiling of the new look was going to be well received."

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

twitter.com/danconnollysun

Baltimore Sun reporter Matt Vensel contributed to this article.

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