DETROIT – The first suggestion that something could happen with the Tigers jerseys came in a story last September from Paul Lukas, famous for his UniWatch Chronicle and Blog which relates sports uniforms and logos.
The Tigers have conducted online surveys of fan focus groups to get their thoughts on the old jerseys. The investigation included their 1984 and 1968 road grays, a gray Detroit Stars jersey from a Negro Leagues tribute weekend, and a navy blue jersey that resembled their spring training design.
The polls were seen more as an effort to gauge fan sentiment whether the Tigers decided in the future to make another special event shirt, such as a return game or concept night. It’s also possible that the Tigers will get involved with Nike’s City Connect jersey concept, which is expected to expand beyond its original Major League roster from last year.
The Tigers have never had an official third kit, but their spring training blue jerseys after years of using their traditional home whites and year-round road grays show they are not. unyielding to change.
No update has followed since the initial report in September, but that doesn’t mean the Tigers are doing nothing. The team is understandably sensitive to the opinions of fans on the uniforms, having heard many comments about the Olde English D updates on jerseys a few years ago, and the changes to the letter size on the Olde English D. on their caps – one year older, the next year close to the previous size.
With even the idea of another jersey creating an intrigue, here are some unique looks from Tigers from years gone by that could have been overlooked:
Blue and orange swimsuits for a day
May 7, 1995
The story is almost too crazy to believe it. The third jerseys became popular around baseball in the 1990s, and the Tigers had had an idea for themselves as a Sunday change of pace from their timeless home jersey. But more than a change of pace, it was a wild start – not just blue with white numbers and orange borders, but with their secondary logo which features a tiger walking in an Olde English D. There were also some pinstriped pants, but these were unworn.
The jerseys raised eyebrows when they were taken out for the team’s first home game on Sunday of the season. Team president John McHale ignored them until someone brought them to his attention that day during pre-game batting practice. After checking in with owner Mike Ilitch, manager Sparky Anderson and a few veteran players, McHale decided they would no longer be worn.
“It struck me that this probably wasn’t the way I saw us presenting ourselves to our fans,” McHale recalled in 2020. “It just didn’t look like the Tigers to me.”
Swimwear Turn in front of the clock
The popularity of comeback jerseys – or Turn Back the Clock – in the 1990s led MLB to try something creative with a glimpse of what future jerseys might look like. The Tigers took part in the Turn Ahead the Clock promotion for a home game that summer, but have stayed true to the tradition with their Olde English D up front. The fits were more subtle, sleeveless jerseys with futuristic numbers and letters on the back. They would have had a wilder blue road jersey ready that included a tiger tail design on the back, but they never wore them.
Tiger head swimsuit
The Tigers didn’t always have the Olde English D, or letter D, on the chest of their home jerseys. For a season, they replaced the iconic letter with a roaring tiger head. For reasons unknown, they used a different tiger head pattern for their home and road jerseys. The home version was more complex.
Tigers sweater in capital letters
The tiger-headed jerseys only lasted a year, but as the team returned to Olde English D on home jerseys in 1928, they had another unique design for the road version. The word “TIGERS” was in orange with a black border and a fancy block-shaped font, but the word slanted down from left to right. It was also off-center on the jersey.
Tigers jersey all blue
In fact, 1995 was not the first sighting of the Tigers’ blue jerseys. For two seasons, the team not only blue jerseys on the road, but also blue pants. The cap, belt and socks were white. The newly adopted Olde English D was on the left chest but changed from season to season. These were the shirts that a teenager Ty Cobb wore for his first two seasons in the Major League. The team returned to road grays in 1907 and have remained gray on the road ever since.