Tigers35456884

The Case for Restoring the Proper Detroit Tigers Home Uniform

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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

Here's why:

 

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.

 

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(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.

 

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(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?

 

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(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.

 

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(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:

https://tht.fangraphs.com/old-english-d-a-look-back-at-tigers-uniforms/

For the full ESPN story from 2014, click here:

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/10927272/uni-watch-mismatched-mlb-logos

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Good luck!  Hope you can get the Tigers to reconsider their really dumb decision. 

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I’d prefer making a new “D” that combines the two (shameless self-plug).

 

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I always appreciate consistency, but the Tigers had the two different versions of the D for so long that there was no sense in finally fixing it this late in the game. Look at that picture from 1940. They could step into a time machine and take the field today. You gotta love that.

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6 hours ago, Gothamite said:

Good luck!  Hope you can get the Tigers to reconsider their really dumb decision. 

 

Thank you! I certainly agree that it was dumb.

 

6 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

I’d prefer making a new “D” that combines the two (shameless self-plug).

 

As a purist, I can't endorse this idea, but your combined logo is very nice looking. I'd love a custom cap with one.

 

7 hours ago, the admiral said:

I always appreciate consistency, but the Tigers had the two different versions of the D for so long that there was no sense in finally fixing it this late in the game. Look at that picture from 1940. They could step into a time machine and take the field today. You gotta love that.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself. Having that sort of uniform continuity is a rare and special thing in sports, what a shame to abandon it. It seems ridiculous to me that the Tigers, a franchise already with one of the simplest uniform lineups in the entire sports, felt it necessary to get rid of the only primary logo in use. It's not as if they're the Twins, whose many uniforms and logos could use a housecleaning. 

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I support going back to the original jersey D.

 

That being said, who would ever write either D anyway?  How did anyone ever finish writing anything if they were using quill pens and writing in blackletter?  Wouldn't it have taken 1,000x as long to write something as it would if they just used cursive?  Seems like an unnecessary step in the name of vanity.

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I mean, Nike logo notwithstanding, the uniform on the left (worn just a couple of days ago at the home opener) is a clear downgrade.

 

Image

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Having two is just plain weird, but I can see why you'd lean towards the flat-topped D.

 

Good luck with that petition, as useful as those are.

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I always thought the hat D was the superior of the two versions and hoped that one day they would unify them and use it on the uniform as well. Then they did and I hated it! Did anyone else ride this rollercoaster with me?

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37 minutes ago, the admiral said:

I always thought the hat D was the superior of the two versions and hoped that one day they would unify them and use it on the uniform as well. Then they did and I hated it! Did anyone else ride this rollercoaster with me?


I’ve always been a member of team “design a new one that combines elements of both, so nobody really notices.”
 

It gives you the benefits of selling new merch, while unifying the identity package.

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2 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:


I’ve always been a member of team “design a new one that combines elements of both, so nobody really notices.”
 

It gives you the benefits of selling new merch, while unifying the identity package.

 

That's the worst idea, because then everybody loses and can complain about a new logo taking the place of their favorite one that's been there forever.  At least this way it's theoretically 5050.

 

I'm with the former ILoveBoobs69420 on this one.  I would have picked the hat one to be the "one and only" D, but I can't get over how much better the round-topped one looks on the jerseys - but I don't think I'd love it on a hat.  Just go back to being mismatched.

 

FWIW, while I'm not a big hat guy, the only non-Phila US-team hats I own are Tigers hats just because of how I love that D.  I can't get enough of that D.

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6 hours ago, Tigers35456884 said:

I mean, Nike logo notwithstanding, the uniform on the left (worn just a couple of days ago at the home opener) is a clear downgrade.

 

Image

 

The uniform also looked better before it was see through.

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3 hours ago, the admiral said:

I always thought the hat D was the superior of the two versions and hoped that one day they would unify them and use it on the uniform as well. Then they did and I hated it! Did anyone else ride this rollercoaster with me?

Yea, I’ve done concepts as recently as this year using the cap D, and have expressed liking the switch in the past, but now seeing them side-by-side something seems inescapably “right” about the old logo. I’d love to see it return.

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How about bringing back the caps of the road uniform?  I like this much better.

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8 hours ago, CaliforniaGlowin said:

How about bringing back the caps of the road uniform?  I like this much better.

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Yes! But in button-down, of course.

 

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On 7/30/2020 at 6:01 PM, the admiral said:

I always thought the hat D was the superior of the two versions and hoped that one day they would unify them and use it on the uniform as well. Then they did and I hated it! Did anyone else ride this rollercoaster with me?

 

I think this is what would happen if the board's dream of unifying the Dallas Cowboys' blues ever came true.

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I noticed this oddity with the Nike Youth Replica while looking at jerseys on Fanatics:

 

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(No idea what's going on with that crappy sleeve photoshop job)

 

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