Skip to content

Detroit Tigers Debut ‘Motor City’ CC Uniforms

Posted in:

Good Saturday morning, Uni Watchers. I trust everyone has had a good week.

Yesterday evening the Detroit Tigers debuted their City Connect (CC) uniforms, which they unveiled earlier this week (Paul had the full rundown). If you’re interested in the storytelling behind the unis, and haven’t yet read that piece, it will explain what’s up with the little “extras.” One thing that wasn’t initially shown was the team-specific batting helmets, which were unveiled shortly thereafter.

Detroit was the fourth team this year to debut their CCs, following the Phillies, Mets and Rays. Five additional CC uniforms are still to come:

  • 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.

Now then.

Like the Phillies, Detroit’s CC jerseys feature a sublimated pattern, rendered in a dark midnight blue (which almost looks black) with two vertical “stripes” consisting of sublimated royal blue. Those sublimations are in a tire tread pattern, with a solid midnight navy placket bisecting the stripes.

In theory, I like the idea of vertical stripes on a jersey, but it was curious how the team depicted them: a brighter blue closer to the placket, gradually fading to midnight blue towards the sides. I actually thought the tire tread pattern was pretty well done, but rather than appearing as two single tire tracks (as one might see here), the pattern repeated at different angles across the entire jersey — which to my eye kind of defeats the purpose of the design.

The Tigers wore a solid midnight blue cap with “DETROIT” (in what many have called a “Star Trek” font) across the crown. Aside from the sublimated tire tread pattern on the jersey, the sleeve hems featured a royal blue “tiled” striping pattern — which was partially repeated as a pants stripe. I have never been a fan of putting anything but a logo on a cap, but putting “DETROIT” across the crown feels a bit amateurish. I understand these are basically fashion caps, so the merchandising angle was in play here, but I feel these would have looked infinitely better with a “D” logo (even depicted in Star Trek font), if the team wants to distance itself from their classic Olde English “D”.

If you look at the splash image at the top of the page, you’ll see that due to the italic nature of the font, “MOTOR CITY” was always going to be problematic as a chest logo, since the placket would have to bisect one of the letters. Of course, that only works when all the shirt buttons are fastened.

Jersey backs featured the same pattern as the front (although without the placket break), NOB was in a white block font, with numbers in the italic font. Unlike the Rays (and Reds and Giants), the numbers and front wordmark were both highly visible.

One of the few “extras” added to the uniform was the diamond shaped patch on the sleeve, which contained the “313” area code, but both of the 3’s were in a white reflective material, and are only visible at certain angles. As a result, most times the patch (which also contained a small Olde English “D”) just appeared as a single “1” digit.

As previously mentioned, the pants had royal striping — which began with the same tiled pattern as the sleeve hems — but which switched midway down the leg to dual stripe, with a thick and a thin striping pattern going down to the hem.

Fortunately this pattern difference was barely discernable at any distance, and players appeared to simply be wearing a solid royal stripe down the pants legs.

It seemed as though most players went low-cuffed, but for those who showed off the CC socks, they were also midnight blue with a royal blue tiled striping pattern (gradually getting thicker from top to bottom) with a blue Tiger head.

Bally Sports Detroit, who broadcast the game in the home market, added the “Tiger Eyes” City Connect logo into the scorebug (hat tip to Scott Crocker for the screen shot):

(If you want any proof the Tigers CC uniforms are midnight blue, compare the uniform to the umpire pictured above; the umps wore black.)

The Tigers produced a video showing many close ups of the jersey (front and back), which gives you an idea of how these looked on the field.

The Tigers mowed the area code patch into the centerfield grass. It may have been the most visible the “3”s were all game.

How’d the uniforms look in action? Not too bad (all things considered), although the Tigers’ opponents — the Astros — wore orange tops over gray pants, so visually it wasn’t the greatest of matchups.

Of course, PAWS — the Tigers mascot — was also decked out in a CC cap and jersey. Can’t say I’m a fan of this look.

One cannot divorce the CC-theme when looking at these, but if I were to give you my opinion of these strictly as baseball uniforms, I would say this is one of the better CC’s. That’s not to say it’s good, but it’s not terrible either. It’s difficult to pair royal and dark navy (midnight blue), but this is one of the better attempts. Since the tire tread pattern wasn’t really visible at any distance, the two vertical “stripes” looked more like a gradient than a pattern. Of course, the “DETROIT” on the caps and helmets looked awful, and I’m definitely not in love with the “MOTOR CITY” across the chest. But for a CC uniform, it was relatively free of doo-dads and extras, and I liked the tiled stripes on the sleeve hems — I wish they had continued that same pattern for the pants stripe, but as mentioned, unless you were looking at the pants up close, the stripe basically appeared as a royal blue stripe. And unlike a few other CC’s, both the logo/wordmark and numbers were legible, so this uniform at least fulfilled its most basic requirements.

Some additional photos can be seen here.

I’m curious what you guys think — especially if you were at the game or at least saw it on TV.



Guess the Game from the Uniform

Based on the suggestion of long-time reader/contributor Jimmy Corcoran, we’ve introduced a new “game” on Uni Watch, which is similar to the popular “Guess the Game from the Scoreboard” (GTGFTS), only this one asked readers to identify the game based on the uniforms worn by teams.

Like GTGFTS, readers will be asked to guess the date, location and final score of the game from the clues provided in the photo. Sometimes the game should be somewhat easy to ascertain, while in other instances, it might be quite difficult. There will usually be a visual clue (something odd or unique to one or both of the uniforms) that will make a positive identification of one and only one game possible. Other times, there may be something significant about the game in question, like the last time a particular uniform was ever worn (one of Jimmy’s original suggestions). It’s up to YOU to figure out the game and date.

Today’s GTGFTU comes from Scott Crocker.

Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.



Guess the Game from the Scoreboard

Guess The Game…

…From The Scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from Steve Trevor.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date and location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.



And finally...

…that’s going to do it for the early lede. I will have at least one (and likely at least two) additional articles today, plus the Ticker, so be sure to keep checking back!

Everyone have a great Saturday and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.



Comments (31)

    The holographic 313 logo shows the M-1 road sign when the threes are not visible at particular angles. M-1 is Woodward Ave., the location of Comerica Park and a major thoroughfare through Detroit and into the northern suburbs.

    The Tigers looked like a D2 or D3 college team. The fade on the helmets is Little League-ish. There are so many options to “connect” with the city of Detroit, but that’s not the point. Sell more merch…that’s the point. It appeared to work from one of the crowd shots of fans wearing the CC cap.

    These are better than other CC unis, but they’re still awful.

    As a Tigers fan, I was dreading their City Connect uniforms. Most of them have been horrible. Only a few have been decent (Angels, White Sox, Mets) mainly because they incorporated existing team looks. The Tigers CC uniforms are everything I was concerned about – disconnected with the Tigers branding and generally ugly. I would never buy tickets to the games in which the Tigers are wearing them. I’ll do my best not to watch them either.

    What this whole movement misses is that seeing the traditional teams in their classic uniforms is a big reason some of us go to the games. It connects us to the team’s history and in many cases to our own. It’s comforting to know you are having the same experience your parents or grandparents had.

    I get why the CC uniforms would be a fun project for people who work for the teams. It’s something novel, a break from the mundane. For fans, however, the teams are a passion, an escape from the troubles in our life. The CC uniforms mess that up for many of us. They sure do for me.

    This City Connect trend can’t end soon enough.

    I agree with everything you’ve said. You found words that were in me but I couldn’t articulate.

    As a Tigers fan, I’ve been dreading the team’s City Connect uniforms. Most team’s CC jerseys have been horrible. The few execeptions – the Angels, White Sox, and Mets – have incorporated the team’s existing looks. The Tigers new uniforms are everything I was worried about, disconnected from Tigers’s branding and overall softball looking. Do they realize they intentional made it look like the jerseys were run over by a car? That’s not irony?

    What Nike and the MLB are missing, or don’t care about, is that for many fans of the traditional teams, seeing the teams in their classic uniforms is a big part of the draw of going to a game. Having the same experience as our parents and grandparents connects us to the game and to our own histories.

    I understand why people employed by the teams would like working on new uniforms. It’s something novel, a break from the routine. But for many of us baseball fans, the teams are our passion, a break from the troubles in our lives. That’s why we are so ticked off. You’re messing with our bliss.

    Unlike the Detroit Stars or Fiesta Tigres uniform games, both of which I enjoyed, the City Connect uniforms feel like an act of hubris on Nike’s part. This is for their gratification. Not ours.

    For my part, I won’t buy a ticket to a game where the Tigers wear these costumes and I’ll do my best not to watch those games on television. This is not the experience I signed up for. I can’t wait for the City Connect movement to end.

    This is the most entitled statement I’ve read in a long time.
    Multiple posts to complain about how upset you are that you don’t like what the employees of an organization wear for less than 7% of the time.
    The concept that a company can’t change anything about themselves because it “ruins your bliss” is embarrassing for an adult to say.
    You don’t have to like them. They aren’t made for old men named Craig.

    I posted the second one because I didn’t see the first one go through. And the phrase you quoted isn’t the best, agreed. But this is a site dedicated to uniforms, so of course I care about them. More than I should? Yeah, likely. But we like what we like. If you like the uniforms, I’m happy for you.

    What’s embarassing is not even leaving your real name, Tiger Fan.

    I’m not sure why you’d bother to say something like that on this site—which is all about the discussion of what other people wear to work, i.e., in this case, professional athletes. And if an organization is going to claim that the entire purpose of this project is to connect to the city and its fans, then it seems the opinions of its fans, including men like Craig, would be something that organization would value and a connection they would seek to deepen—not alienate. If you want to disagree with Craig, or other people such as myself, about the aesthetics, and put forward an argument for how these designs succeed or fail (as I think Phil models above), then do so, but your post above reeks of the attitude that permits corporations to produce terrible products and still rest comfortably in the assurance that suckers like you will go along with whatever they demand of you and that you’ll pay full price.


    September 18, 1977 Rams at Falcons – Joe Namath’s first start for the Rams. Namath only started 4 games before being benched. Final score Falcons 17 Rams 6.

    A rare white-at-home game for the Falcons…the ‘76- ‘77 set being my favorite of their uniforms – and LA’s dress that day was near perfect except for those gray masks(Namath’s cow catcher never looked particularly good when he played for NYJ but was made worse when paired with the Rams dark blue bucket – never minded the helmet/jersey color mismatch .

    Those patterns don’t look like any tire tread I’ve ever seen, and if they did, that would mean the players had been run over by a car. Now there’s some storytelling for you!

    Horrendous. As bad as most of these City Connect unis have been, I usually look at them and think that they at least would make for kinda cool Sunday night rec-league softball uniforms. Detroit’s CC uniform doesn’t even pass that test.

    September 21, 2008. The last game at the “old” Yankee Stadium. I was there with my son.

    The pants side stripe, with the transition from diagonal dashes to solid stripes, is a classic racing stripe motif. That’s the second best element.

    The best element is the 1 and 313 sleeve patch. As noted, the patch calls out both the Detroit area code and Woodward Ave, a numbered state road. Michigan uses a diamond shaped shield for their state highways, hence the shape.

    I think these are some of the worst CC costumes yet. They go in the same bonfire I’m tossing the Giants, Rays, Reds, Phillies and Orioles into. Now, the Pirates wore their CCs last night and I actually find those tolerable. Oh, another thing on the Tigers. I saw the “313” patch, but for five minutes, I was looking up Tigers memorial patches. I thought a Tiger who wore No. 1 had died. I couldn’t see the 3s at all. Not made for television.

    the “DETROIT” and “MOTOR CITY” texts aren’t *really* star treky fonts. obsessive aestheticians will agree that the details are all wrong. There are no serifs in the original star trek font, the leg of the R meets the bowl of the R at the wrong location, and the bar of the E should be angled. the less said about the Y, the better.

    for people who love fonts, here are some fun websites about typography and star trek fonts in particular (of which there have been many).




    Yeah — I know this isn’t a true “Star Trek” font — only that folks seem to believe it resembles that. Obviously, with Nike, it’s a newly created, proprietary font. But even I’d agree it makes me think of Star Trek. And once you see it…it cannot be unseen.

    I will remain unconvinced of its star trekitude!

    I did not realize that nike was creating proprietary fonts for all their unis. glargh.

    I’m not even sure why they would choose a star trek-like font for this uni. It doesn’t really feel “consistent” to me. I would have thought that they would have chosen/created something more “automotive”, like something evocative of a nameplate, or license plate, or tire lettering. especially since the “tire tracks” and other detail elements seem to be pointing in that direction.

    doesn’t matter, though, as these were never meant for me.

    I really like the 313 patch although I would rather have that as the hat design.

    Imagine back a few months ago when single game tickets went on sale. Hey, Tigers playing Houston. Should be a fun game… middle of spring, Friday night game. And then walking in and seeing these monstrosities. How disappointing.

    As a Tigers fan, I kind of like them! That said, I probably won’t get a jersey, that black color would be roasting in the summer sun.

    As an older fan it should be no suprise that I don’t like the CC program. With that said, I think these are the ugliest of the ugly. Not a fan of Colorado and Boston using colors that aren’t team colors. Not a fan of the Braves CC as it reminds me of a time the team was atrious and cars throughout the south had bumper stickers saying “Go Braves and take the Falcons with you”. The trend of dark pants should quickly going away. I can’t imagine playing in a solid black or navy uniform in August or July. Gradiant colors just don’t look well on a uniform. With all of that said the Tigers uniform is a combination of dark navy with Royal Blue (not a team color) and gradiant colors. Looks like nothing I have ever saw so can’t compare it to a time when the Tigers were bad. Worst baseball uniform I have every saw. Never been a yankees fan but at least they are to classy to wear these type of trashy uniforms.

    Inter Milan, Atalanta Bergamo, Pisa, Club Brugge and FSV Frankfurt will agree and so do I.

    These are awful. A bunch of elements that don’t seem to go together, other than the colors. The jerseys in particular look more like an “idea” than a “design.” It doesn’t work at all for me. Somehow this thing is all less than the sum of its parts.

    Not sure what you are seeing Phil if you think these are one of the better CC unis.
    Bout only thing I can see resembling anything pleasing is the blue Tiger logo, which I don’t believe appears anywhere on the uni. But should have been on the caps.
    Kind of pathetic when the street apparel greatly outshines the official uni.


    Not good at all but I am not the one they envision who will buy a CC jersey: too old, not a real Tigers fan (I just love their hat) and not interested in what fellow fans will wear to a game or in the streets.

Comments are closed.