Tigers, Pirates Pay Tribute with Negro Leagues Uniforms

Written By:  •  Sunday, May 20, 2012

Detroit Tigers - Detroit Stars Negro Leagues Tribute Uniforms 2012

The Detroit Tigers held their 18th annual Negro Leagues Tribute game yesterday at Comerica Park in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Both teams donned uniforms paying homage to the Negro Leagues teams which once represented their respective cities during the 1920s and 1930s.

The Tigers were wearing the uniforms of the Detroit Stars and the Pirates wore those of the Pittsburgh Crawfords.

Here’s what I don’t understand…

Both the Pirates and the Tigers have paid tribute to these same teams several years in a row now (heck, even back to the Sparky Anderson days) and after all these years of honouring these clubs, why neither team can be bothered to get a matching helmet to go along with the set.  The uniforms for both teams look fantastic when paired with the cap, but when wearing the modern 2012 team helmets it’s a mess.

It’s time these teams step up their tribute to the Negro Leagues and adopt matching helmets for this set in 2013.

On to the positives…

  • The MLB silhouette logo was nowhere to be found on either the caps or the uniforms.
  • Most players on both teams wore high socks, it just helps the retro feel when players do this for these games.
  • No uniform manufacturers logos on sleeves.

See below for several photos from the game, click any thumbnail for a larger image:

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Chris Creamer

Chris Creamer is the founder of SportsLogos.Net and has been maintaining it since June 1997. You can follow him on Twitter at @sportslogosnet or contact him via email at ccreamer@sportslogos.net

  • Nathan2012

    I get the helmet tthing, but the letters on the helmet still match the Negro lrague team. The P for Pittsburgh and the D for Detroit, although not the right colors, still match the city. If anything the 2012 helmet with the old uniform represents the tie between the Negro league and MLB.

    • TOdd

      @Nathan2012 Only problem is the Hats have a C for the Pirates team and a ★ for the Tiger’s hat

  • Aaron

    I’m sure that someday, they’ll try to pair the helmets with the Negro League caps. It’s not just the Tigers(Stars) and Pirates (Crawfords), it’s other teams that do so. Besides that, I love when teams pay homage to the Negro Leagues in that way.

  • Kelley

    It’s lazy and cheap to do the throwback but not go all the way and pay for matching helmets. The whole idea with the throwback is to generate more revenue, whether it’s for a few more fans coming out to check out the curiosity, or for a few extra jerseys and t-shirts sold. Every sport does it, and I’m generally in favor, especially in baseball where you have 162 games to fill. It’s fun to connect with the past, especially when the uni is convincingly executed and the players go along by wearing appropriate stockings/stirrups.

    But for the teams not to pony up a few bucks to buy matching helmets just smacks of cheapness. Here in Tampa Bay, we’ve thrown back to a few odd teams (minor league Tampa Tarpons, the St. Pete Pelicans from the Senior Pro Baseball Association of the 1980s/90s, the Tampa Smokers brouhaha where they removed the cigar from the jersey in deference to our evolved attitudes towards tobacco). But even this small market, low-payroll franchise can figure out how to finance helmets that match the uniforms. Google Image search Rays Tampa Tarpons and you can see what I mean.

    If the tight-fisted TB Rays can afford matching helmets, surely the franchise paying nearly a half-billion to Cabrera and Fielder can find the scratch to do the job right.

  • ingmar66

    Agree with Kelley, pay up for some matching helmets, Detroit and Pittsburgh! Otherwise the uniforms look really nice. Proceedings of this game should be donated to inner city youth baseball programs in Motor City and Steeltown.

  • Aaron

    And with any team wearing these styles of jerseys and caps, same should go with any baseball city.

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