CHICAGO -- No need to adjust your television sets. The Tigers' Players Weekend uniforms really are that bright.Hey, they wanted to stand out.While the Tigers have incorporated orange as a secondary color in their road jerseys since the 1970s, their Players Weekend road jerseys feature a brighter version, almost neon.
CHICAGO -- No need to adjust your television sets. The Tigers' Players Weekend uniforms really are that bright.
Hey, they wanted to stand out.
While the Tigers have incorporated orange as a secondary color in their road jerseys since the 1970s, their Players Weekend road jerseys feature a brighter version, almost neon. Their sleeves and caps looked like they didn't need the lights on at Guaranteed Rate Field to see each other on the diamond Friday night.
As a change of pace, the players didn't seem to mind, though they had to sort through different caps to find the right fit. Victor Martinez, about as old school of a player as there is on the Tigers, was smiling as he tried on his jersey with the name "Papicho" on the back.
It's the nickname Martinez's father gave him when he was a little kid, he said. He wore it instead of "V-Mart" to honor his dad, who passed away when he was four.
The caps were also a change. For the first time in recent memory, the Tigers played a regular-season game wearing caps that did not include the Old English D on it. Instead, they had a Tiger on the front, noting the old secondary logo.
Equally distinctive were the multi-color striped socks, donned by catcher James McCann and outfielder Alex Presley among others.
Aside from the names on the back, two areas where players could express their individuality were their spikes and bats. Dixon Machado, who earned a spot star at third base when Nicholas Castellanos was scratched, had orange and gold on his footwear. His bat was painted in the colors of his native Venezuelan flag. John Hicks' bat had the red, white and blue among with his nickname for the weekend: Jazz.
"My dad gave it to me when I was a kid," Hicks said. "Whenever music came on, I would start dancing, so he started calling me 'Little Jazz Man.' … We have Johns everywhere in our family. I went by John Austin, and then when my dad gave me the nickname, it kind of took over."
Game-worn jerseys will be auctioned at mlb.com/auctions, with all of the net proceeds donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a collaboration between the MLB and MLB Players Association focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the U.S. and Canada.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.