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Detroit Tigers Unveil ‘Motor City’ City Connect Costume

After earlier leaks of the cap and the socks, the Tigers unveiled their City Connect costume this morning. It has an automotive theme, with “Motor City” on the jersey chest, a tire tread pattern on the jersey fabric (although it looks more like reptilian scales), and a VIN-like side patch on the cap.

Here are some additional photos:

The team’s unveiling web page and hype video don’t include a single shot of a player wearing the full costume — just the jersey and cap. That tells you everything you need to know about this design: It’s just a streetwear merch dump. But they did provide a mock-up, which shows that Nike is still fetishizing dark CC pants:

This costume will make its on-field debut this Friday, May 10. It will be worn again the following day, and then for Friday home games. You can see the full list of games here.

The Tigers are one of nine MLB teams getting new City Connect uniforms this season. Here’s the rundown on the other eight teams:

  • Phillies: Already debuted.
  • Mets: Already debuted.
  • Rays: Already debuted.
  • Guardians: Unveiling date uncertain but probably next Monday; on-field debut scheduled for May 17, but there’s an apparent sock leak.
  • Cardinals: Scheduled to unveil on May 20 and debut on May 25.
  • Blue Jays: Scheduled to unveil on May 30 and debut on May 31.
  • Twins: Unveiling date uncertain; on-field debut scheduled for June 14.
  • Dodgers: Unveiling date uncertain; on-field debut scheduled for June 21.


Comments (123)

    “Hey guys, how about we just take the 2018 Pistons City Edition design and use it for the Tigers City Connect design? Cool? Cool. Let’s go golfing.”

    If I were more of a Tigers fan, I’d be Pistoff at a Piston remake.


    Have any teams besides the Mets worn City Connects on days that were not initially released? For people who do not follow the Mets, they have done so twice and lost both in addition to losing the one game they were supposed to wear them.

    Teams have done that in previous seasons, but I don’t think anyone else besides the Mets have done it this season.

    Correct. Was at the 5/5 game. Rays look better in person. Just the number thing. Rays did what they could integrating the theme on the scoreboard. The neon pelican and trees are the true piece of underrated art here. If I opened a bar, this would be my sign.

    I believe that Tampa Bay planned to wear them all weekend when they released the initial dates.

    So the “VIN” on the cap: DET1901 seems straightforward (Detroit was a founding member of the AL in 1901).

    Any storytelling around the rest of the digits?

    The tire tread pattern is an exact replica of the tread found on the car of the city attorney who drove to court to file a petition to move forward with the final demolition of Tiger Stadium in 2009 and replace it with a police athletic field.

    That’s interesting…
    those Nike designers really honor the history of these teams

    The other numbers are for the years the Tigers won the World Series.

    The rest of the numbers in the vin are the years the Tigers won the World Series

    So for a lot of these, I’ve thought “the uniforms are bad but the hat is pretty cool.” Not this time. The unis are bad and somehow the hats are worse.

    Absolutely! That’s how I felt about the Orioles CC uniforms. Bad uniform, good hats. These hats don’t even redeem the design!

    The combined effect is “counter worker at a fast food restaurant known for its bland but massive rib sandwiches.”

    Would using that Michigan-highway-sign-logo have worked better? Maybe. Then again, the “D” at the scale required for a cap would have been way too small. Maybe something resembling a hood ornament might have worked.

    I’ve lately thought “get the cap correct, and you’re halfway home” with a baseball uniform (the Twins may be the exception).

    This feels like a design for some college student’s fantasy Detroit MLB franchise that moved to the Silverdome, but the city kept the Tigers trademarks. It is utter ‘video game that couldn’t afford the trademarks’ gruel.

    I’ve been able to buy that hat from street vendors and knick-knack souvenir shops in the city for 20 years.

    Does it matter? That’s like asking “is this nacho dip made with dung beetles or cockroaches?” Neither answer makes it appealing.

    Not sure why they used a Star Trek font for the jersey and cap, but these uniforms can boldly go straight to the trash.

    Also the pants (and jersey and cap) are navy, not black, based on some of those close up photos :)

    This designer on tiktok made a version that is a million times better with an ode to the architecture of Detroit.

    I was hoping they’d do something with the Spirit of Detroit statue, really one of the coolest civic monuments in North America, but nope, absolutely no thought was given here. Just stamp the city nickname in Star Trek font on an almost black jersey and call it a day. Bonuses for everybody!

    Can’t believe people still let Nike get away with this stuff.

    Playing up the Hitsville USA could’ve been really cool, although with the state of the Tigers offense right now maybe not the best tie-in.

    Alas, anything would have been better than another tired, old Motor City tie in.

    99% of fan uniform redesigns are better than we actually get and it isn’t even close. Not only that, the fan created uniforms actually go along with non-cringeworthy storytelling related to the cities and teams.

    Once again, a person completely unaffiliated with either MLB or Nike comes up with a design that has way more insight and creativity. I don’t entirely love it, but I appreciate that he came up with something that isn’t as tired (or should I say, tire-d) as another Motor City reference.

    Damn, that’s good. It reminds me of the clash shirt Arsenal had last year. Black, gold and Art Deco ALWAYS looks great. And this is Eminem and a coney short of the Detroitiest thing possible.

    Agreed, but I am certainly still leaving the Dodgers CC hat on the ballot.

    As a roadgeek, I am amused by the sleeve patch referencing the M-1 route shield. Otherwise, these unis are meh.

    If they didn’t also have the “313” on there distracting from a perfectly nice road sign, I would agree

    …but it doesn’t even look like a road sign outside the diamond shape. And its not on a black square background like the sign. At first, I thought, “Hey, they’re honoring sweet Lou,” before I thought road sign. Then the 313 on there, like a watermark, completely lost me.

    with the Star Trek looking font being used the faded area makes me think of when people were telaported in from place to another..

    Like in Star Trek, the Motion Picture when the teleporter isn’t working and what they got back thankfully didn’t live that long?

    Well, they are (mostly) boring. They do have 2 things in their favor:

    1 – The wordmarks and numbers are actually readable! Contrast! (Learn something from that TB)

    2 – I do kinda like the “VIN” thing. Its at least moderately clever.

    The tire marks up the chest (we know our lineup gets run over by opposing pitchers on a regular basis, don’t remind us!), the used by every sports team in the city “Motor City” theme, the criminal lack of orange anywhere, yet more navy blue, and the fact that the ad patch kinda makes this actually look like something I would find a worker at Meijer wearing one day… yet another missed opportunity. Hoping to see this the minimum number of times

    So – Nike has just given up on these too at this point? Geez.

    Another CC with dark pants that will be dropped in due time.

    That cap is really bad — they totally mailed it in.

    Agree. Guessing next season they’ll wear the CC top with white pants and home cap.

    Except for the sleeve patch, these are pretty boring. It’s almost like there is a template: dark jersey with an unusual font on the front and extra design work to try to make it unique.

    Missing the boldness of the Rays while also just being a bit too busy. The Rays can work as streetwear, this doesn’t and it feels like it should have been so easy. Also “Detroit” on the hats is a miss, they should have done a variation of the Old English D.

    Actually, after looking at the retail jerseys, the racing stripe pattern has grown on me, mostly because it’s also on the back so the separation isn’t just due to the placket.

    Still not as good for casual wear as the rays, but solidly in the top ten of CCs

    Definitely have run out of ideas when you just spell the city name out on the hat.
    We all know that the purpose of this program is just an on-field ad to sell more merch. But I wonder if it is obvious to the average fan? Can they tell the difference between the merch dump garbage uniforms and the actual throwback/alternates that are legit uniforms?

    hello Greg,
    as a lifelong fan I can say that most fans do. the annual detroit stars game is a hit and trammel pullover/kaline cotton navy are best sellers.
    this city connect is an objective face-palm.

    Having been born and raised in Detroit, this uniform has no “CONNECT” (at least me me) whatsoever to the city of Detroit. The Tigers are known for their the old English “D” and the automotive industry throughout the country. Unfortunately, their is only a very small Old English “D” referenced on the sleeve. Sheeeeeesh. And there is nothing really that people OUTSIDE and even within the city of Detroit can visualize that pertains to the automotive companies. You have to look closely for the tires treads on the informs, etc. OMG. What a disaster. Ty Cobb, Hank Greenberg, and Al Kaline are all turning in their graves. Also there’s nothing referring to Motown Records, or “Hitsville USA”. Berry Goody Sr. must be incredibly disappointed. The “Detroit” on the hat is plain, but OK, I’ll accept it as a Detroiter trying to accept any change. But c’mon the rest of the uniform is a complete departure from what anyone who is a native “Detroiter” understands or Detroit is even all about. It doesn’t even represent even a small resemblance the essence of the city. Good luck with fans watching the Tigers in an all blue uniforms. aka “Pajamas”. Another Nike Merch dump as Paul accurately and so eloquently described it as. Nike continues to ruin uniforms throughout sports with the crap they roll out. Bottom line, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. No need for CC uniforms MLB and Nike.

    Not from Detroit -proper- but my dad is, and raised us in Ann Arbor to be lifelong Tiger fans. None of this feels familiar in any way. Except for the fact that they very closely resemble the Pistons jerseys from a couple years ago. As pointed out above…


    I think these may be the worst City Connect uniforms so far, and that’s saying a lot given how bad some of the others are.

    Dear MLB,
    Can’t you see you’re being had? That they’re just phoning it it? That this won’t help you market your team, but it will help Nike & Fanatics sell cheap junk? This could’ve come out with the word “TEAM” across the front, and you would’ve fallen for it. Please reach out if you need help.

    Nothing says City Connect like putting the name of the city right on the cap!

    the Guardians unis are going to be full blood clot red with some sort of fading design aspect to them arent they…

    I’ve come to expect crummy CC unis but at least some of the caps have been pretty good. This is the most uninspired cap they could have created.

    Having reviewed my post, I accidentally misspelled Berry Gordy Sr’s last name My sincere apologies to you Mr., Gordy and your family. The hat may sell because it says “Detroit”. Other than that perhaps a drunk father may purchase a jersey or 2 for his kids. But no One Tiger fan in Detroit will be purchasing these jerseys. Good luck MLB and Nike. These jerseys will be 1 and done this year never to be seen again, guaranteed.

    This might be the first time Phil will not have to wait to see these in action. They’re just that bad!

    I was really hoping for better! All I can see is the Tigers just getting run over by a car because of the tire marks.

    I don’t like the cap as much as some of the others, but the jerseys are neat. I think they’d work better with white pants, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Tigers joined the Rockies and Orioles in making this change.

    “Hitsville USA” is an actual place – a cool museum in Detroit — and it, like Motown, is probably trademarked. Not that there couldn’t be an agreement worked out, but I get that it would be messier that just going with Motor City.

    Ther VIN and the tire treads are pretty cool.

    I’m just impressed at the blatant lack of any creativity ripping off the 18-19 Pistons city edition.

    Look another dark, monochromatic uniform with an ugly, sublimated pattern that is invisible unless you get up close and squint.

    So far, this year’s crop of CC costumes are particularly horrendous. Just one stinker after another.
    You know what though, the racing theme works really well…..because pretty soon all the adds will make it look like NASCAR anyway.

    Awful, just awful. You could write Philly across the front of these and Motor City across the Phillies uniforms and write some garbage story to make themselves feel like these actually have meaning. What an absolute garbage program City Connect is. It never was good and it just keeps getting worse. Who in their right mind thinks these not only look good but at the same time, represent Detroit.

    Don’t worry, the 3 helmet rule is to bring this to the NFL within the next 5 years. Count on it.

    I just can’t believe how bad Nike is. How can it be that the company I loved so much as a child is the company I hate most as a grown man.

    “Shitty Connect” templates obviously require mono black or navy. Another example of marketing douchebaggery.

    This one feels like the Tigers said to Nike, “Whatever you want to do, go for it.”

    Woof. More half-assed garbage from Nike. Paul, you’re getting out just in time.

    I don’t really get placing a tire print on your jersey. You’re telling the world you got ran over? That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence

    Michigan native from a multi-generational Tigers family. The whole City Connect fails in its most basic idea. As someone who now lives out of state, nothing more connects me to the state, the city, or the Tigers than when I encounter someone wearing the Old English D—on a hat, on a tshirt, on a jersey, or when I see it on the back window of a car. I could articulate point-by-point how this ensemble fails aesthetically and representationally, as well as how truly disappointed in the Tigers’ organization for capitulating in all this, but the concept is fundamentally flawed and only magnified by such poor execution of something that didn’t have to be.

    Well said. I have large numbers of my family in Detroit and they think much the same as you do.

    These look like jerseys a bunch of fat softball players with theirs sunglasses on backwards would order from

    I don’t do Twitter (or what it’s become) but for those that do, can you get #shittyconnect trending over there?

    The cap looks like something I’ve seen for sale in a Project Blue Light gas station. How very generic! The jersey could use a few potholes to represent the miserable Detroit roads. And while we’re at it, change the sleeve trim to orange and white to get the full road construction theme. Miserably wretched pieces of garbage.

    Oh, for sure, orange and white stripes would perfectly emphasize the state of Detroit-area roads right now, with so many construction projects!

    For the 3rd time this season in judging these new Shitty connect releases , I’ve found my self saying “these are the worst ones yet…”
    Motor City is so tired. Nike has beaten that dead horse with the Pistons Threads.
    I asked my 17 year old daughter, while not a baseball traditionalist, but a casual fan, what she thinks about some of these Shitty connects, and she says the same things that these “grumpy old men ” on this board are saying …
    “They are so ugly !”

    I will never understand tire marks across a jersey. It looks like you were just ran over (by the opposing team)

    A lot of CC unis that don’t appeal to me leave me wondering if perhaps they’ll nonetheless speak to and connect with the local fan base in anything like the way the Brewers CC unis have. I mention the Brewers because I tend to think their CC set, while clearly above average for the program, didn’t get great reviews from most non-fan critics I saw. But local Brewers fans just eat up the Crew’s CC-related merch. Out and about in southern Wisconsin, I see maybe a 50/50 split between CC and non-CC Brewers merch, which kids and younger adults seeming to prefer CC over non-CC Brew Crew hats and shirts. So that CC set definitely connected with its city.

    But this Tigers set, wow. I’ll be shocked if I see many folks wearing the related merch out in the wild. The Tigers have such a strong visual identity, and Detroit has a number of local aesthetic/cultural traditions, and this uni set doesn’t connect with either to me.

    I was optimistic that this might be somewhat cool with the sock leaks. I will not make that mistake again

    So Nike is so unoriginal that 15 of the 30 teams have had some sort of dark or gray color for CC pants (counts the Dodgers, who ditched their original black pants, and does not count Marlins red). And that doesn’t count the teams who still haven’t released uniforms.

    White Sox

    The Dodgers’ CC pants were originally blue, the Marlins’ were white, and the Rockies’ were green. I can accept the Rockies and perhaps the Dodgers, but I don’t understand why the Marlins were included.

    The font looks like the Illitch-owned Motor City Casino. That tracks with Red Wings gear, and Little Ceaser’s home run celebrations.

    So cringy. Motor City. How original.
    And overall, just a plain ugly uniform.

    The Old English D is as classic as Yankee pinstripes. Chris Ilitch, you failed once again in not opting out of this embarrassment. Pops is rolling over in his grave. You know what you can do.

    Thank goodness I read the storytelling, or else I would have assumed that Lou Whitaker died with that non-advertising sleeve patch.

    So typical of Manfred’s leadership, where teams will get the sugar high of selling tons and tons of junk merchandise to those who want to be the cool kids, and MLB will then think it is creating the next generation of fans. I suppose it’s no different than the minor leagues, where alternate identities are all the rage and people need to have every one of the 25+ caps and jerseys a team wears. Somehow you’d thing MLB teams and players would take more pride in just wearing white at home and gray on the road, and leave this nonsense to the minors.

    Why would/should anyone take pride in wearing white at home and grey on the road?

    Calling it a costume reminded me of Jonathan Higgins donating Magnum’s Detroit Tigers “costume” to charity in an 80s episode. I’m sure Magnum wouldn’t be much happier with these uniforms than he was with Higgins back then.

    To the extent that Nike was ever “trying” with the CC uniforms, they appear to have stopped.

    This couldn’t look more like the giveaway t shirt from a Detroit Star Trek convention if they tried.

    From the MLB Post:

    “From the tire treads to the VIN tag to the M-1 patch on the sleeve, there are unique features on the uniforms, caps and batting helmets we feel Tigers fans and Detroiters will appreciate. ”

    I wonder if/how they tested these to be able to say that?

    These are bad, but not even close to Tampa Bay bad. At least you can read the NOBs and the numbers.

    How’s that for a glass half full approach?

    Inter Milan, soccer champions of Italy, called and want their jersey back. Even if it is a knockoff version of the ones they wore a couple of seasons ago, including the snake scales. Also made by Nike.
    This is such a lazy, uninspired effort topped off by a hat that is so stupid: ah, the jersey reads Motor City. Which city is that? No need to ask Siri: the hat already says Detroit.

    The jersey/hat combo reminds me of something you would see at a NASCAR race. That may have been some of the intention?

    Another trashy looking CC uniform. Very bland with ugly number font. Looks like a uniform used when when working underneath automobiles. I hope fans don’t buy this junk so they stop with this CC idea altogether.

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