Detroit Tigers Top 10 Shirseys

Click here to read a primer on our shirsey rankings. 

Click here to read the Tigers BP Top 10 Prospects.

Dontrelle, Shelton, and Perry write-ups are courtesy of Matt Sussman, our most recent special guest on the Barbecast. He is funny and you should like him. Follow him on Twitter @suss2hyphens.

Thompson and Thames write-ups are courtesy of Jordan Gorosh, our good friend over at TigersProspectReport. Go follow him too if you like hearing about what Eugenio Suarez is up to. 

System Quote: “You know, tigers are very unpredictable.”

Tigers Top Ten:

  1. Dontrelle Willis
  2. Horseman
  3. Dmitri Young
  4. Justin Thompson
  5. Joel Zumaya
  6. Chris Shelton
  7. Kenny Rogers
  8. Travis Fryman
  9. Ryan Perry
  10. Marcus Thames

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 8.45.28 PM

1. Dontrelle Willis

Size: M

 Current Status: Owned by Jake

 Website: Jake’s drawers

 Price: One million pesos

 eBay Description: “Very good shape”

 The Tools: 7 derp; 7 awesomeness; 4 player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; questionable price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Ended his brief retirement to sign minor-league contracts with the Cubs and Angels, with the Long Island Ducks in between. He still walks many batters.

Strengths: Great nickname (D-Train), great leg kick (D-Train Kick), was once a 22-game winner and the Rookie of the Year.

Weaknesses: Large amounts of cash causes him to break out in hives.

Overall Future Potential: 7; the potential of wearing a Dontrelle Willis original can be a positive experience. You can tell strangers “I saw one of his two Tigers wins in person.” (I did, but I do not have this shirt.) If the anecdote is successfully turned, you will become the life of the party that you most certainly crashed.

Realistic Role: 6; you can cut two additional holes into the shirt and make a dog shirt. A Dogtrelle Willis shirt.

Risk Factor/Injury History: Given that Willis’ DL trips in Detroit were officially because of “anxiety disorder,” that really makes this a melancholy shirt. It’s sad when a pitcher is sad and doesn’t pitch well, because preferably our pitchers have control issues grounded in funnier reasons, such as rattled by the core concept of “The Human Centipede,” or distracted by the pitching coach’s mustache or flatulence.

The Year Ahead: Quite possibly another spring training invite, because he’s Dontrelle freaking Willis and you’re not. Kick that leg to the skies.

Wardrobe ETA: 2018,

on his second comeback attempt with the Tigers.

Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 8.47.02 PM2. Horseman

Size: XXL

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $14.96

 eBay Description: “Detroit Tigers #4 Four Horseman T-Shirt Jersey Sz XXL”

 The Tools: 7 derp; 4 awesomeness; 8 player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; 5 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: His lower, horse-ier half began to deteriorate, but his upper, more human side continued to grow ever so stronger.

Strengths: Custom shirseys that make their way onto the glorious utopia that is the eBay marketplace always sport at least plus-plus derp. Hopefully this belonged to a Tigers fan who wore a horse’s head to every game.

Weaknesses: Someone might take your name too literally and find a way to chop off your head. The number 4 on the back raises serious questions about whether there are three other horsemen running around. Previous owner may have been murdered and placed in someone’s bed, Karthoum style.

Overall Future Potential: Low 6; the elite derp offers a legit ceiling.

Realistic Role: 4; too many questions from your friends.

Risk Factor/Injury History: High; dependent on both horse and man.

The Year Ahead: Will do man things. Will do horse things as well.

Wardrobe ETA: When the horseman cometh.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.34.58 PM3. Dmitri Young

 Size: M

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $14.00

 eBay Description: “The size tag is missing, any questions please ask.”

 The Tools: 6 derp; 6+ awesomeness; 5+ player obscurity; 5+ design/color scheme; 5 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: “Dmitri is currently the President of The Dmitri D. Young Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization providing baseball and life choices camps for student athletes in Southern California.” GOOD FOR YOU, DMITRI YOUNG.

Strengths: I mean, it’s Dmitri Young. We’ve covered the importance of the Young brothers to this blog for all of the wrong reasons and this shirsey is just another example. Dmitri was actually a two-time all star. The best Dmitri Young stat that you can tell all of your friends is that he hit .320 over 508 plate appearances in 2007 and produced 0.2 WAR. That was a thing that happened.

Weaknesses: Well, certainly a lot of them. His Wikipedia comes with one of the more depressing lines I’ve read about the Young brothers. “Dmitri’s younger brother is Delmon Young, a former number one draft pick and runner-up for the 2007 American League Rookie-of-the-Year Award.” Ouch.

Overall Future Potential: High 6; it’s not like anyone dislikes Dmitri Young

Realistic Role: 5; you’re still gonna get laughed at because you’re wearing a Dmitri Young shirsey

Risk Factor/Injury History: High; this is a diabetic shirsey, so be prepared.

The Year Ahead: Hopefully Dmitri continues to help kids with their life choices as opposed to advising them on an approach at the plate.

Wardrobe ETA: 2003

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.37.33 PM4. Justin Thompson

Size: L

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $58.50 + FREE SHIPPING

 eBay Description: Justin Ray Thompson (born March 8, 1973 in San Antonio, Texas) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Detroit Tigers from 1996 to 1999 and the Texas Rangers in 2005.

 The Tools: 7 derp; 5 awesomeness; 7 player obscurity; 3 future design/color; 2 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Probably sitting somewhere on his couch, doing everything right handed. I honestly don’t know if Justin Thompson can comb his hair left handed. He had four shoulder surgeries in two years. One shoulder surgery is bad. Four in 24 months is borderline abuse.

Strengths: It’s an adult large, which is nice because it fits most of the population, however, no one wants to wear it. Justin Thompson hasn’t played for the Tigers in 15 years, so if you are a casual baseball fan, you have absolutely no idea who he is. His career was only 4 years long, only two of those full seasons, and then he toiled around in the minors for what seemed like an eternity. The color looks like it’s a bit off from normal Tigers shirseys. It’s too dark. However, it has plus color projection if you run this shirsey through the washing machine for the next week. Seriously, though, who in the world is going to pay 58.50 for this shirsey? I don’t think Justin Thompson’s mom and dad would. I don’t think I would pay $58.50 for three $20 bills with Justin Thompson’s autograph. The worst part is that they slash out $65.00 and $58.50 is the “sale” price. Don’t worry though. It’s free shipping.

Weaknesses: If you walk around in this shirsey to any venue that isn’t Comerica Park, people will probably think you’re one of two people: 1) someone with the last name Thompson, or 2) Nope, that’s really the only logical explanation.

Overall Future Potential: High 6; well above-average shirsey

Realistic Role: 6; high end relief shirsey; or number 2 starter in your rotation shirsey

Risk Factor/Injury History: Extreme; having all the surgeries doesn’t exactly help

The Year Ahead: Most likely not pitching. And there’s no way anyone is buying this shirt unless it’s actually Justin Thompson.

Wardrobe ETA: 1996

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.39.49 PM5. Joel Zumaya

Size: S/M

 Current Status: Available for purchase


 Price: $7.95

 Website Description: “This Joel Zumaya Detroit Tigers T shirt is perfect any Tigers Fan.”

 The Tools: derp; awesomeness; player obscurity; design/color scheme; price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: I would bet that Zumaya locked himself in a room that prevented him from trying to continue to throw baseballs really hard.

Strengths: Wikipedia knows best. “Joel Martin Zumaya (born November 9, 1984) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He is known for his record-breaking fastballs…

Weaknesses: “…and his numerous injuries.” :(

Overall Future Potential: 6; you’ll get some “oh cool”s

Realistic Role: 2; this shirsey will drive you off a cliff somehow

Risk Factor/Injury History: Ridiculous; Zumaya blows his arm out giving people high fives now so it cannot possibly be safe to wear this shirsey. 


Wardrobe ETA: 104 MPH

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.41.16 PM6. Chris Shelton

 Size: M

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $22.49

 eBay Description: “In 2006, Shelton hit nine home runs in the first 13 games of the season; this made him the fastest player in American League history to reach that mark at that point in a season.”

The Tools: 6+ derp; 4 awesomeness; 6 player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; 4 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Burrowed into an underground mansion deep in the Utah foothills. Occasionally surfaced to serve as an assistant coach for Cottonwood (Utah) High School baseball.

Strengths: Able to start a season with five home runs and a 2.477 OPS in five games.

Weaknesses: Maintaining that pace. Also, completely ineffective against UV rays.

Overall Future Potential: 6; wearing a Chris Shelton t-shirt as a restaurant sports bar server could yield enough tips to retire at the age of 50.

Realistic Role: 4; same sports bar server career path, but retiring at age 75.

Risk Factor/Injury History: Provided you have a thick mane and acute night vision, you’ll be safe underground with this shirt but really need to watch out for mole traps.

The Year Ahead: As far as I can tell, Shelton hasn’t officially retired from the game. There’s always a chance he gives it one more go in spring training. There’s always a chance for any of us. So wear it and wait for a team to say “Aren’t You Chris Shelton?” If you get cut from the team, it’s no big deal. The team will say “man, they were right, you USED to be good.”

Wardrobe ETA: 2307, when the mole men rise up and conquer most of Utah.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.43.26 PM7. Kenny Rogers

 Size: L

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $14.99 + $3.77

 eBay Description: “VERY clean and blemish free”

 The Tools: 6 derp; 5 awesomeness; 4 player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; 5+ price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Pitcher Kenny Rogers fell even further behind singer-songwriter Kenny Rogers as pitcher Kenny Rogers spent the year doing nothing important, while singer-songwriter Kenny Rogers performed at Glastonbury and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Strengths: Unlike Rogers himself, this shirsey claims to be blemish free. It’s good to know that Rogers has stayed away from unidentifiable substances since his 2006 World Series slip up.

Weaknesses: People might think you are Mr. Rogers and ask you for hugs. Could create a hulk-like desire to beat up camera men.

Overall Future Potential: 5; wear this with pride to a Tigers game, but only to a Tigers game.

Realistic Role: 4; the previous owner took a picture of it on the floor which shows it’s already being used as a rag of some kind.

Risk Factor/Injury History: High; if you ran into Kenny while wearing the shirt he’d threaten to sue you for fraud.

The Year Ahead: If Kenny finally makes that trip to the Disney World that he’s been planning since childhood, it won’t have any effect on the value of this here shirt.

Wardrobe ETA: 2006

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.48.21 PM8. Travis Fryman

 Size: M

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $35.99

 eBay Description: “Two weeks after joining the Diamondbacks, he was traded again, along with pitcher, Tom Martin, to the Indians for third baseman Matt Williams. Fryman batted .287 with 28 home runs and 96 RBIs his first season in Cleveland to help lead his team to the American League Central division crown.”

 The Tools: 7 derp; 5 awesomeness; 6+  player obscurity; 4 design/color scheme; 3 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Living up to his last name, Travis accepted a job as a fry cook at his local McDonald’s. He also fell asleep at 11:59 on New Year’s Eve because he’s Travis Fryman.

Strengths: People might think you’re Nate Freiman, which is awesome. 24 is a spectacular number. It’s the number of days in a week…right?

Weaknesses: Really bizarre color combination. The letters look like they were ironed on by a blind man.

Overall Future Potential: 5; you might be able to wear this to class on a Monday

Realistic Role: 3; cyclical hand-me-down

Risk Factor/Injury History: Moderate; hot oil can burn

The Year Ahead: It’s going to be 2014

Wardrobe ETA: Never unless you really hate yourself.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.46.37 PM9. Ryan Perry

 Size: YM

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $14.99

 eBay Description: “DETROIT TIGERS youth med T shirt Ryan Perry #45 kids baseball tee V-neck stripes.”

 The Tools: derp; awesomeness; player obscurity; design/color scheme; price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: Existed as a pitcher in the Nationals rotation. They tried to make him a starter. He ended the year as a Double-A reliever. Hey, major league’s *that* way, bro.

Strengths: Inner lining of shirt contains all of Godsmack’s tour dates

Weaknesses: Sleeping in this shirt will result in recurring nightmares of allowing a walkoff Nelson Cruz grand slam in the playoffs.

Overall Future Potential: 5; still perhaps the Tigers Closer Of The Future™, but that will require another desperate July trade.

Realistic Role: 4; cautionary tale on projecting relievers.

Risk Factor/Injury History: If anything, emotional damage for children wearing a Ryan Perry youth t-shirt and never seeing your hero again, except in Triple-A.

The Year Ahead: The starter experiment may have died a silent death, and you can’t blame a team for trying, but major league bullpen is probably his achievable goal. Chin up.

Wardrobe ETA: Summer 2014 in Syracuse by some weird kid.

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 10.48.47 PM10. Marcus Thames

 Size: L

 Current Status: Available for purchase

 Website: eBay

 Price: $26.99

 eBay Description: “Playing sparsely early in the season, he soon seized his opportunity for extended playing time due to injuries to Dmitri Young and Craig Monroe.”

The Tools: derp; 3 awesomeness; 6 player obscurity; 6 design/color scheme; 3 price

What Happened to the Player in 2013: 

Strengths: Marcus Thames had a nice run in the mid 2000’s with the Tigers, hitting some towering HRs to LF, garnering the nickname “country strong” from announcer Rod Allen. Marcus would hit mistakes from left handers a long way, causing Rod to lick his lips, and say “mmmmhhhhmm Marcus is country stroooong” as he lifted a high fly ball into the night.

Weaknesses: There’s nothing special about this shirsey aside from the name on the back. It would be one of the best shirsies in baseball if it read “country strong” instead of Thames. It appears as if it were bought from a store inside Comerica Park, which also diminishes its #weird factor. There is some potential in a Thames shirsey, but this one isn’t well executed.

Overall Future Potential: 5; average regular shirsey

Realistic Role: 4; platoon shirsey, especially if you have a good LH hitting shirsey.

Risk Factor/Injury History: Pretty low. Thames will be forgotten about in the next decade, because he simply wasn’t a memorable player.

The Year Ahead: He will continue to not be Eric Thames, which is remarkably unremarkable.

Wardrobe ETA: 2002

System Overview:

Unlike its actual system, Detroit boasts a shirsey system chock full of high-ceiling talent. Any list that includes Dontrelle Willis at any point in his career is an impressive list, and it’s impossible to deny the value of having a ridiculously strange custom shirsey like Horseman in your organization. Horseman and Dontrelle have the potential to become of the better 1-2 shirsey punches in baseball, and that’s saying something. There’s depth here too, with sad stories like Joel Zumaya and incredibly blah stories like Chris Shelton. This is a solid system that isn’t going to get much better now that the actual team is like, good and stuff.

(e-mail us any shirseys you own or have found online at

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