BALTIMORE -- The cartoon bird is back.
The Orioles unveiled several uniform changes for 2012 on Tuesday morning, including the cartoon bird -- a revamped combination of several older versions that will be on team hats for both home and road games -- and a return of the orange jersey for the first time since 1992.
The changes were made public exclusively on Orioles.com, and are effective on all team apparel and other merchandise immediately. There will be two versions of the new cartoon bird (which will be on the players' hats for every game except when they wear alternate black jerseys), home and away, and those changes will also be made to the team's batting helmets.
The new bird takes elements from both the 1970 and '83 versions and replaces the ornithologically-correct bird that was previously on the team's road and home caps. The look marks the first time since 1988 that the cartoon bird symbol will be part of the team's official uniform. Joining the new caps will be the orange jerseys, which were last worn during the inaugural season of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992. The jerseys feature the Orioles script in black with white outline, and will be worn in addition to the existing black jersey as an alternate version of the uniform.
Other changes include all four of the team's jerseys having a Camden Yards 20th anniversary patch on the right sleeve, and the "Baltimore" on the road jerseys will have a revised script that is all one size, instead of the lettering tapering off. The primary logo and "Orioles" script remains unchanged.
The uniform changes for 2012 are the first major changes since 2008, when, along with the introduction of a new Baltimore road jersey, the O's redesigned the Oriole bird to better evoke the shape and feel of some of the team's historic logos. The bird was also simplified with the removal of all colors except the more traditional black, orange, white and gray. The Orioles are expected to continue to wear their scripted "O's" hats, instead of the one with the cartoon bird, when wearing their alternate black jerseys.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.