Tigers fans rip underwhelming Nike City Connect jerseys to shreds after debut

Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers / Nic Antaya/GettyImages

After much anticipation and a surprisingly warm reception for the Tampa Bay Rays' City Connect jerseys (which really are awesome) a few weeks ago, hopes were high when it became the Detroit Tigers' turn to debut new home alternates, their first real departure from a primary jersey with about 100 years of history behind it. The white jersey, black piping, and old English 'D' have served the Tigers well, but fans were hoping that Nike would present something that would represent a nice change.

On Monday morning, the Tigers released a hype video to show off the new caps and jerseys, the former of which had already been leaked weeks before. Although the caps (and socks, which also leaked) gave us a good idea of what the rest would look like, the jerseys were the main event.

And the reactions to all three have been ... mixed, to say the least. The new City Connects feature a jersey with "Motor City" emblazoned across the chest in white font, with bright blue accents down the middle in the style of tire tread marks. They do feature a few nice details — a nod to Woodward Ave., the years of the team's founding and World Series victories.

However, like almost all City Connects so far, a majority of fans were less than pleased with what we got.

Detroit Tigers debut long-awaited Nike City Connects to mixed reactions from fans

Detroit sports fans were quick to notice some curious similarities to the Pistons' City Edition jerseys, which debuted in 2018 and were also produced by Nike. The resemblance is striking — "Motor City" lettering, stripes down the middle meant to resemble tire marks — and a cynical eye (of which there have been many since the drop) could think of it as laziness on Nike's part.

To both Nike and the Tigers' credit, their City Connects do add a bit of interest in the texturing to the blue, and at least the Tigers' font isn't quite as boring as the one the Pistons got. However, the similarities are too stark to overlook.

Because no detail was ever going to be spared from the internet's scrutiny, the cap has also been getting torn to shreds. The Tigers opted into simplicity for this version, with a dark navy and "Detroit" in white across the crown. What could've been the most interesting part of the entire uniform is hidden on the brim — a large tiger in the same bright blue on the jersey and socks.

The hype video featured some of Detroit's most exciting players — Riley Greene, Tarik Skubal — but we also caught a glimpse of Detroit's own Eminem right at the end. Notably, he was wearing the Tigers' standard old English 'D' cap. Not the best look for Nike there.

There were, of course, some dissenting voices. Although most of them are being drowned out by the much louder chorus of negativity, some fans praised the City Connects' simplicity, along with some of the smaller details like the Woodward Ave. nod.

The Tigers will debut the new jerseys on May 10, when they return home from a two-series road trip against the Yankees and Guardians.