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Thread: What did "ELB" stand for?

  1. #1

    What did "ELB" stand for?

    Sorry for the noob question, I always meant to ask someone since I was a kid but never really found someone who knew. I've got a pretty good guess that it's basically the team name in French, but is someone feeling charitable enough to fill me in on something that's been killing me for more than a decade now?

    EDIT: I apologize for the past tense in the thread. Wasn't thinking. ELB still stands for everything it ever stood for of course.

  2. #2
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    http://sports.sympatico.msn.ca/The+m...etect=&abc=abc
    "The answer, as I was repeatedly informed, is that it's not "elb", it's that I'm a blind and/or drunk idiot and it's a stylized "M" with an "e" on the left part and a "b" on the right part. They stand for "Expos de Montréal Baseball" and they're also the initials of the team's original owner, Edgar M. Bronfman."

  3. #3
    So that stroke that looks like an L is actually the left upstroke of an M? Who knew?



    In my defense, the stroke that looks like an L just seems so self-contained, especially because it's light-on-dark compared to the rest of the icon. I guess though that it isn't a coincidence that it's arranged in the same order of red, white, blue as the French flag is it?

    Last edited by Imgran; 01-29-2008 at 10:02 AM.

  4. #4
    Yankeebiscuitfan Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    So that stroke that looks like an L is actually the left upstroke of an M? Who knew?



    In my defense, the stroke that looks like an L just seems so self-contained, especially because it's light-on-dark compared to the rest of the icon. I guess though that it isn't a coincidence that it's arranged in the same order of red, white, blue as the French flag is it?

    The French flag has it's colours in reverse Blue White and Red. Minor detail.

  5. #5
    Google, you've let me down again! All my illusions are falling away!

    Sorry for cluttering your board, folks.

  6. #6
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    weird, i always thought it was just an M with an e on the left side, never thought about the right side being a b...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipitch View Post
    they're also the initials of the team's original owner, Edgar M. Bronfman."
    Edgar was not the team's original owner. It was his brother Charles.

  8. #8

    This or That - Still Sad

    Some also claim that it is e l b for Expo les Baseball.

    Where did you find that art of the cap?

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Milwaukee T View Post
    Some also claim that it is e l b for Expo les Baseball.
    It would be similar to claiming that the "t" in the Saint Louis logo stands for "The baseball". No, the Expos media guide has never mentioned an "L"; only the e, b, and M representing expos, baseball, and Montreal (just the individual words, not a phrase linking them together).

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by The Fonz View Post
    weird, i always thought it was just an M with an e on the left side, never thought about the right side being a b...
    I always thought it was JUST an M. Never noticed the e and b until you guys pointed it out.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairmetalfreek View Post
    I always thought it was JUST an M. Never noticed the e and b until you guys pointed it out.
    I still think it is just an "M."

    ipitch's link is broken, and I haven't seen any credible reference to the Expos ever intending it to be anything else but just an "M." If tinseltown is right about the media guide, of course I stand corrected, but I'd like to see the reference. This reminds of of when somebody insisted to me that the stitching on the handle of the Braves' tomahawk was meant to read "VMI."
    Last edited by Pere; 04-21-2008 at 08:33 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
    I still think it is just an "M."

    ipitch's link is broken, and I haven't seen any credible reference to the Expos ever intending it to be anything else but just an "M." If tinseltown is right about the media guide, of course I stand corrected, but I'd like to see the reference. This reminds of of when somebody insisted to me that the stitching on the handle of the Braves' tomahawk was meant to read "VMI."
    You don't see the red e? That's always stood out to me. I thought it was an e and an M with a ball next to the M.
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  13. #13
    I vaguely recall hearing an explanation of the logo some years ago. But what's funny is that no we're just understanding what it all meant and the team no longer exists.

    GO NATS!!!!

  14. #14
    So I'm not drunk or crazy. It really is just a bit confusing

    Trust a Quebecois to make something unnecessarily complicated.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    You don't see the red e?
    I see a curly red serif.

    I'm not saying other interpretations are definitely wrong, because I guess I don't know either. But I've never seen anything official about it, which is why I suspect that the more elaborate "translations" are urban-legend.
    Last edited by Pere; 04-21-2008 at 05:18 PM.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by spark240 View Post
    But I've never seen anything official about it,
    As I mentioned, the description of the M, e, and b comes from the Expos media guide that the team published every year (though it was absent from later editions). Here is the text from the 1990 media guide:

    The Expos logo is composed of three letters, the largest of which is the overall stylized "M" for Montreal. Represented in the lower left of the logo is a lower case "e" for expos and on the right hand side of the logo, in blue, is the letter "b" for baseball.
    Last edited by tinseltown; 04-21-2008 at 07:39 PM.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Cold Nose View Post
    an M with a ball next to the M.
    Funny you should say that, as the logo has also been described as a stylized version of a bat hitting a ball. I swear I've read this in some editions of the media guide too, but I cannot find it in the guides I have on hand. I believe this description is present in Dan Turner's The Expos Inside Out, a tale of the 1981 season.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Imgran View Post
    So I'm not drunk or crazy. It really is just a bit confusing

    Trust a Quebecois to make something unnecessarily complicated.
    Spoken like someone right out of Toronto.

    You either hit it right on the head or maybe it was also affected by the fact that a major financial backer made his money from the making of spirits. Either way you provided me with a welcome chuckle.

    Take it for what you will:
    We went to a game up there in August of 2004 against the Astros. Great time in a great city. We were able to walk up and purchase tickets right behind home plate and stayed downtown cheaply (didn't even realize until morning that the Astros were there as well). The hotel had put out a Montreal booklet for sports fans that were staying there.

    I finally found that dumb thing. It states: "It has been debated what the original Expo emblem signified. The Expos have only ever offered one explination. There are three component that are derived from the French tradition of Blue, Blanc, and Rouge. Those components work together to form a stylized M for Montreal."

    It then goes on about the team history for a little bit before it reaches 1992 in the team history. There it adds that "many have been able to identify the letter e in red just as they can usually identify a blue letter b. There is great debate as to what the white accomplishes. Some see it with e to form a d while others see it it simply as filler as the whole forms the letter M."

    This page of Expo information continues on. Near the bottom it conludes that "There may never be a conscensus as to the true meaning behind the original logo; but it certainly couldn't have been, as one man suggested while standing on his head in front of the stadium during a personal protest agianst the team leaving. He contends that he saw the true meaning as people were walking past him with the Expos hats and shirts. The emblem is an inverted representation of the reproduction organs; either internal for the females or external for the males".

    I have no idea any more what it is. I just find it amazing that something so recent and so simple has perplexed so many for so long. Which has more theories? The grassy hill in Dallas or the M of the Expos?

    I'm sticking with a theory that a co-worker in Connecticut had provided to me after hearing of my trip to see a game up there and reading that same silly pamphlet. He stated that one of the members of the owners' group worked with artist that happend to be an old school mate from when they were attending Jewish primary school together in Brooklyn with him. The overall emblem does stand for the M. Then you need to read it from right to left and see b l e for baseball les expos in the blue, white and red: in the correct French order of colour and the correct Jewish order of writing.

  19. #19
    ...and this is why it was a terrible logo.

    Confusing, overly complicated, and no two people can agree on what it means or even what it looks like.

  20. #20
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    If you showed it to 1,000 people who had not previously seen the logo... an "M" would finish last amongst many choices, imo.

    E L B
    and
    e b

    both finishing ahead of M.

    It's always been elb to me, but I first saw it as a kid in the 70's. I did like the logo back then.
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    When my mom first looked at that logo, she thought it was JB.
    Oh for a sunny afternoon at Sicks...

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by alltime#1pilotsfan View Post
    When my mom first looked at that logo, she thought it was JB.
    You have to look at it closely to see that, but with spark's red serif theory in play, it makes as much sense as any.

    One logo, so many interpretations.
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  23. #23
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    I never noticed elb. I just saw an M.
    You must pick battles that are small enough to win, but large enough to matter

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by six4three View Post
    ...and this is why it was a terrible logo.

    Confusing, overly complicated, and no two people can agree on what it means or even what it looks like.
    No, it's actually pretty simple but the multiple interpretations is why is it one of the best logos ever ... the logo is clearly explain in the Expos media guides.

  25. #25
    Boy you could make a psychological study of this.

    The Expos had the Rorschach chart of baseball symbology. Different mind types read the symbol different ways. It might even be interesting if someone had the expertise to try to find out what the trigger might be to interpret it different ways. Too bad i don't have it.

    Regardless, the Montreal "elb" "M" "Jb" what-have-you was a triumph in one way -- if you have a few square inches to say something they achieved a zenlike mastery of saying as much as possible.

    Spoken like someone right out of Toronto.
    Maine, actually. We have... had our own experiences with Quebecois. You guys *did* invade us a couple times after all, and vice versa.
    Last edited by Imgran; 04-27-2008 at 10:06 AM.

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