Downsizing the 'D': Tigers reverting to old hat logo

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Matthew Boyd wears a Tigers hat last season, when the "D" logo had been expanded.

Sometimes, bigger isn't always better.

The Tigers have learned this through trial and error.

The ballclub confirmed Friday that for the 2019 season, it will shrink the size of the Olde English "D" on the team's official caps, amid significant public outcry after it greatly expanded the size prior to the 2018 season.

Feedback from fans was instrumental in the decision to revert to the old look. The "D" won't be exactly the same size as prior to 2018, but very similar, the Tigers said.

"Based on fan input, we made a slight adjustment to the size and positioning of the iconic Olde English 'D,'" said Ron Colangelo, Tigers vice president for communications. "We love the traditional look and we're excited for the start of the upcoming season."

The Tigers prior to last season made two alterations to the team's uniforms, including enlarging the size of the "D" on the caps. That decision was made, the Tigers said at the time, to get the logo's size in line with those of most other major-league organizations. Marketing also suggested younger fans, whose spending dollars are heavily coveted, like their apparel bigger and bolder.

But the team's decision was met with instant and furious backlash from tradition-heavy Tigers fans, many of whom likened the new official caps to those knockoffs you might see on the rack, for five bucks, at your local gas station.

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The Tigers' cap long has been among the most-iconic in professional sports, the "D" representing not just a baseball team but a major city — given a significant boost by Tom Selleck's character in "Magnum P.I." back in the 1980s. Its subtlety is embraced. That's why it was such a surprise when the Tigers made the alteration a year ago.

The Tigers and Cubs now will have the smallest cap logos in Major League Baseball.

The "new" caps will be on sale at Comerica Park in time for the home opener, scheduled for April 4 against the Royals.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Tigers also changed the style of the "D" logo on their home jerseys to match the pointed-edged "D" on the caps. Previously, there were two different "D" styles, with the jersey one having more rounded edges. The jersey "D" will remain the same in 2019 as it was in 2018, the Tigers said.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984