The Baylor mascots that could have been
In the late 1800s/early 1900s, as college athletics began to develop and Baylor started to compete against other schools, different BU teams and sports often had different names and mascots. By the fall of 1914, Baylor students began to call for a single mascot, and it was proposed that a contest be held to determine what it should be. When it came time to vote, more than 20 animals had been suggested for consideration as the university’s official mascot.
As you know, “Bears” was the winner. Proposed by San Antonio freshman Doyle Thrailkill (who won a five-dollar gold piece for suggesting the winning mascot), the “Baylor Bears” received 206 of the 406 votes cast.
But what if another mascot had won? We took some of the runners-up to a designer, who mocked up what our logo might look like today if another name had emerged victorious. Here are some of our favorites:
“The Baylor Buffalo.” The history of bison covering the plains of Texas, plus the alliteration here, made this a popular choice among students — but not popular enough, as it ultimately came in second place.
“The Baylor Ferrets.” The ferret is fun — but it doesn’t exactly strike fear in the hearts of opponents.
“The Baylor Eagles.” Maybe the claw we throw up would remain the same — but “Sic ’em, Eagles” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
“The Baylor Antelopes.” As majestic as they are, antelopes are symbols of peace and serenity — perhaps lacking the fierceness one would prefer in a mascot.
“The Baylor Frogs.” If buffalo and antelopes aren’t ferocious enough, what does that say about frogs?
“The Baylor Bookworms.” I can’t imagine why this one didn’t win.
All in all, it seems our students made a good call.
Buffalos Ferrets Eagles Antelopes Frogs Bears! Bookworms
You might also like:
* Celebrating 100 years of on-campus Baylor bears (Oct. 2017)
* A quick look at Baylor’s bear logos through the years (Sept. 2017)
* A Century of Sic ‘Em: Celebrating 100 years as Baylor Bears (July 2014)
[updated June 2020 with a new header image featuring Baylor’s current bear logo]