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Caputo & Fithian

Favorite Detroit Sports Uniforms Past And Present

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By Dan Jenkins
@DanTJenkins

There has been no lack of memorable, eye-catching uniforms in Detroit over the years, for better or worse.

Some of the worst that stick out were the Lions Black alternate uniforms, seen as a money-grab and just an attempt to sell jerseys. The Lions have since minimized the use of black on their jerseys to just a couple of strips on the sleeves.

Another that comes to mind is the Pistons’ Maroon and Teal atrocities from the ’90s. Whether it was Jerry Stackhouse or Grant Hill, those throwbacks looked bad on everyone.

But, here we like to look at things on the positive side, so here’s the list of some of the best uniforms our teams from the Motor City have ever donned.

5. Detroit Titans Road uniforms

OMAHA, NE - MARCH 16: (L-R) Head coach Ray McCallum of the Detroit Titans talks with Ray McCallum #3 against the Kansas Jayhawks during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

OMAHA, NE – MARCH 16: (L-R) Head coach Ray McCallum of the Detroit Titans talks with Ray McCallum #3 against the Kansas Jayhawks during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at CenturyLink Center on March 16, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Shocking! I bet you didn’t think Motown’s University would get a spot on this list. The Titans succeed with the basic white lettering on all-red uniforms because of its simplicity. Plus, you can’t miss a player wearing that color.

4. Detroit Tigers Road uniforms (1972-1993)

OAKLAND, CA - 1987:  Kirk Gibson #23 of the Detroit Tigers leads off base during a 1987 game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

OAKLAND, CA – 1987: Kirk Gibson #23 of the Detroit Tigers leads off base during a 1987 game against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images)

These are classics. I don’t know what it is about them — maybe just because they bring us back to the heyday of 1984 when the entire city had Tigers fever. The uniforms also successful used the orange bands on the sleeves, which would be nice to see the team bring back in some way. I also favor the block lettering to the script writing that the team is sporting today.

3. Detroit Red Wings Winter Classic uniforms (2008-09)

CHICAGO - JANUARY 01:  (L-R) Jiri Hudler #26, Brian Rafalski #28 and Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate after Hudler scored his second goal of the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks during the NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field on January 1, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – JANUARY 01: (L-R) Jiri Hudler #26, Brian Rafalski #28 and Henrik Zetterberg #40 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrate after Hudler scored his second goal of the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks during the NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field on January 1, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

There’s something about alternate uniforms that people just love. Maybe because it is just different from what they’re used to and it gives the organizations a chance to be creative (except the Lions). These Winter Classic jerseys brought back a Detroit Cougars look from the 1930s in a great way. The sleek old English D was a refreshing change from the winged-wheel.

2. Detroit Pistons Home uniforms (1978-1981)

AUBURN HILLS, MI - JANUARY 15:  Chauncey Billups #1 of the Detroit Pistons moves the ball during the game with the Philadelphia 76ers at The Palace of Auburn Hills on January 15, 2004 in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  The Pistons won 99-95.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2005 NBAE   (Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

AUBURN HILLS, MI – JANUARY 15: Chauncey Billups #1 of the Detroit Pistons moves the ball during the game with the Philadelphia 76ers at The Palace of Auburn Hills on January 15, 2004 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Pistons won 99-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2005 NBAE (Photo by Allen Einstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Love them, or hate them — these uniforms are amazing. The piping on the shoulders, the placement of the off-set number and the use of the bright colors is awesome. The lightning bolts helps set these beauties apart from the rest of the Pistons jerseys throughout history. These were sort of lost to history until the team brought them back as alternates during the 2004-05 campaign.

1. Detroit Tigers Home uniforms (1934-Present)

 

DETROIT, MI - JUNE 15:  Rick Porcello #21 of the Detroit Tigers warms up prior to the start of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 15, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-3.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – JUNE 15: Rick Porcello #21 of the Detroit Tigers warms up prior to the start of the game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on June 15, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Many consider these to be the best uniforms in baseball, and maybe even in all of sports. These have withstood the test of time for 80 years and don’t look to be going anywhere. The use of two different styles of the old English D — one on the hat and one on the chest — give this uniform a cohesive look. The piping on the chest gives the uni character, while keeping it simple.

What do you think? I’m sure you have your own lists of favorite jerseys. Let us know in the comments.

 

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