Tiger fans and sports uniform enthusiasts alike,
I am petitioning the team to restore the team's proper home uniform here: https://www.change.org/RestoreTigersOldEnglishD
From 1934 until 2017, the home uniform of the Detroit Tigers, among the most iconic in all of professional sports, consisted of a rounded Old English D on the left breast, and a slightly more angular Old English D on the cap. This uniform, with its two distinct Old English D's, is the definitive look of the Detroit Tigers, having been worn for 83 of the team's 119 seasons. The rounded English D connects Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, and the 1935 and '45 Tigers, the franchise's first two champions, to Al Kaline, whose legend was firmly entrenched by the time of the dominant 1968 team, where Denny McLain won 31 games wearing the rounded D. Its history extends to the 1984 Tigers, the franchise's last World Series winner, and finally connects us to the most recent era of Tigers baseball, where the team won American League pennants in 2006 and 2012, and Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera took home American League MVP honors between 2011-13 donning the rounded English D on their chests and the angular D on their caps.
(1940 pitching staff sporting the round-top D on their jerseys and the angular D on their caps.)
At the beginning of the 2018 season, the Detroit Tigers decided to standardize the Old English D, placing the cap D, which has only existed in its current form since 1968, on the jersey, removing the rounded jersey D that has persisted for 83 years. Apart from breaking the connective tissue that has held together every great era of Detroit Tigers baseball, the change is a big aesthetic downgrade. The thin, angular profile of the cap D, which works so well on a cap, doesn't translate nearly as well to a jersey, where its slight proportions get lost amidst the white background of the uniform.
In justifying this decision, the Detroit Tigers have misrepresented the team's proud history. They claim that the Old English D has experienced many tweaks and upgrades over the years, and that this change is just one among many. This is patently false. While it is true that the logo has changed, the great majority of this change occurred between 1901 and 1934, in the team's early days. After which time, the jersey remained consistent until 2017.
(Al Kaline sporting the round-top D on his chest and angular D on his cap.)
Moreover, the Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball have cited the need for one unified logo as the reason behind this change. But there is no reason why a team as rich in history as the Detroit Tigers cannot equally embrace the two different yet historically valuable logos. The New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs all have slightly different logos for jerseys, caps, and batting helmets, and accordingly, they assign one logo as the primary and make the others alternate logos. If the Tigers were so intent upon streamlining their branding, why not take this approach?
(Justin Verlander modelling the consistently inconsistent classic Tigers uniform)
Only a couple of years ago, back in 2014, the Tigers publicly voiced their support for this exact proposal. The team's vice president of communications told ESPN that "the two versions are part of our heritage, and they both symbolize our historic uniforms, so we plan to keep both of them," and that "both have equal value."
More fundamentally, why change at all? The Detroit Tigers wearing the rounded Old English D on their jersey and the angular D on their caps is a proud reminder of baseball's tradition of idiosyncrasy. Baseball stadiums across the two leagues embrace quirky throwback features like irregularly shaped outfield walls and retro brick facades, homages to the sport's humble beginnings.
(Josh Harrison donning the noticeably inferior new home jersey)
I am asking Detroit Tigers fans and uniform enthusiasts to let the organization know that we want the team to restore the classic and rightful home jersey of the Detroit Tigers. Tigers fans protested when the team removed the Old English D in 1960, and it was back for 1961. We protested when the team enlarged the proportions of the cap D in 2018, and the following season, the team responded by bringing back the classic cap. If we display our desire for the restoration of the Old English D, as so many Tigers fans have been clamoring for on social media, perhaps we will succeed as we have in the past.
For further reading on the history of the Old English D, I strongly recommend taking a look at Cliff Corcoran's piece in The Hardball Times, which was of great assistance while assembling this petition:
For the full ESPN story from 2014, click here: