It’s time to change the Detroit Tigers’ road uniforms

This photo from 1969 shows Mickey Lolich wearing the Tigers two-colored road uniforms with the simple block lettering on the chest.

Throwback fashions have become increasing popular in recent years, most notably the hideous snap-back hats from the 1990s that looked terrible then and continue to do so now.  But the throwback craze has also extended into on-field apparel, and it’s about time it made its way to Detroit.

The Detroit Tigers have one of the most recognizable home uniforms in all of baseball, and one of the few that can never be changed, lest they incur the wrath of millions of Tigers fans. Both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are also included with the Tigers among those teams with classic home uniforms that can never be changed.

Notice the repeated use of the term “home.”

The Yankees road uniform is the traditional gray with block navy lettering and white trim.  It stands out against the gray and has been a staple for the Bronx Bombers for many years now. Until just a few years ago the Red Sox had sported a different look than usual on the road.  Their jerseys still had “Boston” spread across the chest in the traditional Red Sox font, but it was red and the sleeves were trimmed in red. It was a new look, but it wasn’t right.

Boston took a look at their uniforms and decided a storied franchise such as themselves needed to go back to a classic, throwback, look, something that fans could remember from their childhoods and something that others could build memories with.

Simple tweaks made the Red Sox road uniforms classic looking while being trendy. Boston changed the color of their word mark to black and removed the red trim on the sleeves. They also added a full color logo on the left sleeve that makes the uniform pop.

Detroit needs to take notice of the changes the Boston has made and make some of their own. Currently the Tigers are the only team in the entire league to have a color on their road uniform that does not appear on their home uniform; that being orange.

While the connection can be made, tigers are orange and so the color on the uniform makes sense that way, but why did they depart from the classic look of the 1968 jerseys? Those were gorgeous, they were a bit plain, but a move back to them would be similar to Boston changing their road uniforms.

The script Detroit logo, while nice, could use a change similar to that made in Boston. A change back to the simple block lettering of the ’68 jersey would be a throwback in one sense, but also a change for the better in another.

Much like the new Red Sox road jerseys, the ’68 Tigers uniforms are gray with simple black block letters. The one change that Detroit should make if they do go back to the ’68 look would be to add names to the back of the uniforms; the players are important and they deserve to have their names on their uniforms.

Instead of a color logo on the left sleeve the Tigers could go back and return the uniform number to the sleeve of each jersey, giving them a unique look that no other team in the league would have. In doing so, the Tigers could both update their lockers and return to a classic look while continuing to be unique.

What do you think? Do you like the current Tigers road uniform? Why do you like it or dislike it? If you don’t like them, what do you think Detroit should do to update their look? tell me in the comments below or pipe up at our Facebook page >

43 replies on “It’s time to change the Detroit Tigers’ road uniforms

  • paul hampson


  • william randles

    thats a great idea thats the only change i would like it would be new again and would please those of us from the 1968 tigers

  • Cecilia

    I like the current road uniforms, even if they are a bit colourful. That is the dichotomy. The home uniforms are very traditional and classy, while the road uniforms are a bit more sporty.

    The script “Detroit” was used from the thirties through 1960, when a new management wanted to announce that it would make changes. They used the word “Tigers” in script for the home uniforms that year. The next year, they went back to the traditional home uniforms. On the road, they used the block letters for “Detroit” rather than the script which had been in use for over 25 years. That road uniform stayed, with orange added in 1972, until Mike Ilitch decided that he wanted to bring back an update of the script “Detroit”.

  • TigerTommy

    Love the idea. Would love to see them go back to the 68 Road unis and Maybe a secondary road alternate uniform that looks like the 70s-80s Road uniforms with the Orange & White “D” on Navy hat. I really loved watching Fidrych in that uni back in ’76. Then in 20+ years we can go back to the script….lol

  • Gary (long time Tiger fan)

    I’m with Cecilia and like current the road uniforms. The 68 road uniforms were boring, as was the road uniform that followed in the 70’s & 80’s. I guess some kid in collage would like the 68 uniform because he’s never seen the Tigers wear anything different then what their wearing now. Get to the ballpark early, when the Tigers have their blue and white warm up jerseys on, that jersey looks good, because its different. I’ve seen 3 different road uniforms in my lifetime and think the current one is the best. What’s wrong with having more then 1 road uniform? I believe the Tigers and Yankees are the only teams in the majors to only use 2 uniforms.

  • Jimmy Kemp

    While I love seeing the 68′ uniforms worn as a throwback, I think they are way to plain. If anything, I would go back to the jerseys they wore in 1984, except they would be button down and not a pullover, kinda like what they wore all the way through the 1993 season. Seeing those uniforms last week in Tampa, was awesome. I just don’t want the Tigers to be plain like the Yankees, the Red Sox at least have two alternate jerseys they also wear, a red alternate jersey at home and a navy blue alternate jersey on the road. Also I love the Tigers road cap, would hat if they had only one cap, way to plain. If anything, I think they should had another road cap, remember the orange bill caps they wore in 1994? I liked those, would have that and a nave blue alternate jersey for just the road.

  • Bob Leathley

    The 1968 road uniform style lasted through 1971. The last 2 years (70 and 71) both had the names on the back. Still the most iconic road uniform the tigers ever wore. No other colors are necessary, it’s pure Tigers baseball.

  • Bob

    I’ve always preferred the ’68 road jersey…looks gritty…it says we’re here to play baseball and kick your butt! Bring ’em back!!

  • Cliff Parker

    The 1968 and the 1984 road jerseys RULES!!!!! Go Tigers, and bring the throwbacks back to 1968 and 1984 for the road jerseys! Maybe even better, make an alternate jersey for the road in all black with a white ol’ english “D” and a white pin stripe on the jersey styled like the “Home” white jersey that has the dark navy blue pin stripe; awesome!!

  • mark byberg

    I agree with the rest of the group,We need to see the throwback jersey with either the “68” or “84” logo on the the front for the road jerseys.I think it would be cool to have just the numbers on the back with no names to make it a true throwback.Also to Cliffs comment about a black jersey with a White “D” or pinstripes would be unique.

  • Bill

    Change is good, I also must say I really do like the 84 Tiger road jerseys..and the orange is a nice detail color in my opinion, with that being said, classic 68 jersey is good…I guess this doesnt help much ! but I am a HUGE Tiger fan as well as a jersey fanatic!!! Thanks.

  • Bill

    I must add, I prefer pullover vs. button!!!!! So I guess my vote would be for the 84….jersey…

  • Warren

    Bring back the 68 uniform, let’s bring back Kaline, Horton, McClain, Cash and Lolich too. Let’s bring back 68 ticket prices while we’re at it. You want the 68 uniform, go buy the team and you can have them wear whatever you want them to wear. What a stupid thing to debate. Here we are with one of the highest payrolls in the majors, playing .500 baseball, and we’re going to cry about what uniform is being worn. How about crying about what a joke of a manager Jim Leyland is, or how a player batting .175 gets in the line up everyday when the guy can even play in the field. Boo Hoo I don’t like their uniform. GROW UP CHILDREN!

  • Living In The Now

    The simple minded want simple things. The 68 road uniform was just that…simple.

  • The Rake

    I’m not in love with the current roads, but I do love the orange as part of their uni (and hat in particular). I don’t mind an alt uni with using throwbacks more often, but see no need for a change. People often want change for the sake of change and that seems silly to me. Personally, I highly dislike the changes Boston made recently going bland and removing the red. Bad look. On a different note, Boston’s red unis are atrocious. I like what Detroit has, though I could see throwbacks used in say 10% of the games total per year. No need for more than that.

  • Mark Goldberg

    Those ’79 road unis they wore in St. Petersburg last week looked great. I like the pullover look for the road unis. Block letters or script “Detroit”; works either way.

  • Gary Steinke

    As long as the home uniform stays the way it is now, and has been since I can remember (and I’m no spring chicken), I don’t care what they wear as long as the Tigers are playing GOOD baseball and winning games. It’s how they play on the field, and not how they look that matters. GO TIGERS!!!

  • Richard Foster

    I’m sorry to disagree, but I think the road uniforms are great! They are throwback to the late 30’s, early 40’s! I loved them from the first day they were worn, And I proudly wear one around town! Of course the home uniform is untouchable, and I request the roadies be the same. Go Tigers!!!

  • Bob Jalving

    I’ve always liked the ones they wore from 1960-71 with the number on the right sleeve.(except in the ’68 World Series where some players had the number on left sleeve for some reason)…Let’s go back to those, along with the players names added on the back! The ones in ’84 are outdated, as no team has the elastic waistband instead of belts anymore.

  • Bob Jalving

    And Warren,get a grip! We’re not “crying” about the uniforms,we are just giving our personal opinions as the author of this article asked for!

  • J.B.

    Agreed, bring back the CLASSIC 68’uniforms…no need for names on the back, the simpler the better.
    There’s far too many distractions at today’s baseball games, “back in the day” at old Tiger Stadium, to get a rally going, fans would (if there was an empty seat next to you) slam the seats in a cadence w/the fans clapping or stomping their feet….no need for an organist to get the crowd going…the fans did it on their own! Oh and what about “free bat day” when the place was jammed with a full house of kids banging their bats on the concrete floors of Tiger Stadium…those were the days!

  • Bob Jalving

    “Rhythmic applause” as Ernie Harwell would call it….And the kids in the stands,mainly on Saturday’s, would chant “We want a hit!” when the Tigers batted….Yes,those were good memories. 🙂

  • CeeCee

    I like the 60s road unis and wish they’s revive them, even if only as alternates, with a white border to separate the lettering from the gray jerseys, and with the names, of course. BTW, PLEASE stop referring to the colors on those uniforms as BLACK. Every Tigers fan SHOULD know that the team wears NAVY, not black. (Same with Boston and the Yankees.)

  • CeeCee

    I like the 60s road unis and wish they’d revive them, even if only as alternates, with a white border to separate the lettering from the gray jerseys, and with the names, of course. BTW, PLEASE stop referring to the colors on those uniforms as BLACK. Every Tigers fan SHOULD know that the team wears NAVY, not black. (Same with Boston and the Yankees.)

  • Francis Louis Charbonneau Jr

    I agree. The current road uniforms are dull and drab looking. They in fact did wear the Block Style Letter Road Greys two years ago in a throwback uniform day in Seattle when the Mariners wore the old Seattle Pilots uniforms. I would go to two designs. One with the Navy and Trim Road Greys similar to the Yankees with the numbers on the sleeves, two, go to a road alternate with the Olde English D in Navy trimmed by Orange outline. That would be similar to the San Francisco Giants and would show off the English D to everyone else. I also liked the 1970s roadies too. They were balanced nicely and the striped belt and striped sleeves were good looking. They wore the alternate large D in Orange with White outlining. They should keep those too.

  • Cary Baker

    I say bring back those 68 road uniforms. Maybe try it for a couple of seasons. However, I would leave the road caps the same (Keep a hint of orange) and get rid of the orange dot on top.

  • Alan

    The Tigers are in their second Century. An alternate jersey reflective of the one worn 100 years prior when playing teams that they played back then. This would change every year. Some of those designs were very cool.

  • Nate

    No way, the current road jersey is one of the coolest in baseball. I love the script, and the tri-color lettering and numbers with the white, orange, and blue stacked on top of each other is just awesome. The ’68 style is fine for a throwback occasion, but way too plain/boring for everyday use.

  • ignaciotrout

    You’re nuts! Best road jersey in MLB! Would you change the orange D on the caps as well? And, I think we should bring back the striped stirrups from the 72 uniform!!!

  • Dylan

    I actually wish the Tigers would bring back the hats from 1995-97.I love that logo with with tiger coming through the english D logo.I live in New York,and I wear that hat alot and I get alot of comments on it.

  • George

    I must be only one here to remember when in the 50’s(and late 40s) the road jersey had Detroit in blue script. Last year or the year before when playing Dodgers in LA they wore a throw back like that. I prefer that over the colored one, but when they used orange in 1956 and 1957 it didn’t have the white trim and looked much better than current road jerseys. Look for them online and you will see what I mean.

  • Benjamin

    I’m really surprised to see all the support on here for the throwback ’68 unis. I don’t like the idea of not having any orange on any of the jerseys. In fact, I’d like to see the Tigers modernized completely and have an ALL ORANGE alternate road jersey. You could do a big navy D on it like the home unis or do the Detroit script like on the current road unis. But maybe I’m just too young (36) to appreciate the novelty of the ’68 jersey.

  • Jack Nida

    I say bring back the 1968 road jerseys! The only thing I would add is the Tigers stripes on the stirrups! Why did they get rid of the stripes in the first place? Also, bring back the white D on the road caps as well.

  • Kev

    The 1968 roadies are OK, but if they go back to them, they MUST make the number fonts match. I’m not even talking from the sleeve to the back. I mean in general. Watch Game 1 of the 1968 series on Youtube and notice the difference in the 2’s on Norm Cash and Willie Horton’s jerseys. It appears some players have one font and others have another. That should never happen in a Major League game, let alone a World Series game.

  • Bill

    The 1971 road uniforms were the same as 68, except they did have the names on the back. Great looking uni!

  • Bobby D

    I love (!) both the 71’ road jersey with the names on the back, & the current road jerseys…. Both are excellent. Those are the best 2 Tigers road uniforms in my lifetime (I’m 56)…. IDEA; Since it seems as if the Tigers will never introduce alternate home uniforms, let’s use alternate road uniforms instead. Play half the road games in the 71’s & half in the current road uniforms…. That woulD be terrific 👍⚾️

  • J.D. Danielewicz

    AMEN. Then BOTH our home and road “unis” would be PERFECT. And NEVER let ANYONE mess with them again. Not even an owner’s snot-nosed kid.

Comments are closed.