Opinion: What's the point of changing the Detroit Tigers' Old English 'D'?
What’s the point?
The Detroit Tigers have decided to mess with something that didn’t need to be changed. The Tigers announced Thursday they are replacing the round-top Old English ‘D’ — a version of which has been worn on the left breast nearly every season since the mid-1930s — with the team’s primary logo, already worn on their hats, beginning this season.
The Tigers will now have a pointed Old English ‘D’ on the left breast of the home jersey. Even though this change is minor, it suggests more unnecessary changes in the future as the Tigers seek to make money off-the-field while the on-the-field product suffers through a lengthy, painful rebuild.
The Tigers should have learned from the Detroit Pistons years ago about unnecessary uniform changes. Remember the Pistons’ awful teal era?
Or maybe that is the point, to make a change signifying an era of bad baseball.
I don't recall seeing a survey that suggested fans were unhappy with the home jersey and thought a change would be good. No one seemed irked by the difference in the jersey's and hat's 'D.' The city has been fine with a multitude of different D's, The Detroit Free Press used the Old English style in its flag before the Tigers did. As for the Tigers, there have been differences in the ‘D’ used over the years, which makes each jersey unique. I don’t see the need for uniformity now, when there hasn’t been a call for it over the last five decades.
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TigerFest will likely not be be sold out on Saturday. Who can blame fans? Instead of going to get autographs from players like Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton and J.D. Martinez, as they did in past years, fans will instead meet a bunch of players who haven’t proven they deserve to play beyond Triple-A.
The Tigers are embarking on their pointless pointy-‘D’ era at a time when fans may not be too excited to actually sit in the stands and watch the new guys wearing those new jerseys. It might be more entertaining for fans to check out the prospects in nearby Triple-A Toledo or low-A West Michigan this summer.
The uniform change has been planned for some time, but it’s ironic that it is coming now. The Tigers are going young, with new jerseys, right as they honor the great teams of the past.The team will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1968 World Series-winning Tigers and the inductions of 1984 World Series heroes Alan Trammell and Jack Morris to the Baseball Hall of Fame later this season.
The Tigers will retire Morris’ No. 47 on Aug. 12 when the Tigers play the Twins. Trammell’s No. 3 will be retired on Aug. 26 when the Tigers play the Chicago White Sox. There will be an on-field ceremony before the start of the Sept. 8 game against the Cardinals, who the Tigers beat in seven games in 1968.
At least the Tigers can expect three sellouts in what may be an otherwise forgettable final few months of the season. Fans can don their old Old English ‘D’ jerseys for those games as a nod to past glory.
When the ceremonies end and the baseball is played on those days — in the new Old English ‘D’ jerseys — it’ll be another reminder of how much different Tiger baseball is going to be for the foreseeable future.