Finding: Humans Incapable of Drawing Tigers Before 1961

Scientists, were one of them asked, would almost certainly conclude that human beings were strangely incapable — despite thousands of years of time to practice — of drawing tigers until 1961.

The proof to which those same scientists would very likely point: assorted logos utilized by the Detroit Tigers between the formation of the American League (in 1901) and the introduction of a logo, in 1961, featuring a passable likeness of the very large feline.

The first logo used by the Tigers (in 1901-02) which attempted to depict that majestic animal is actually perhaps the most successful of these early ones, insofar as the artist in question appears to recognize his limitations — which, as noted above, are really the limitations of his entire race. In this case, one finds only an orange-colored silhouette of the tiger, as opposed to detailed facial portrait.

1901 to 1902

While the tiger eluded artists fairly deep into the 20th century, the embarrassed squirrel had already been a fixture among the repertoires of many drawing students for years by 1927, the year in which the following logo was adopted by the club. The following sketch, in fact, quite clearly represents an attempt by the unnamed artist to transform said squirrel into a tiger with the addition of a few whiskers and weird, craggy teeth. Ultimately, however, the viewer isn’t fooled: the result is merely an embarrassed squirrel wearing a curious Dracula disguise.

1927 to 1928

Art critic of the internet, “sportsherald,” characterizes the subject of the following picture as “an unhappy fat housecat with a cherry tomato in its mouth.” While unconvincing by today’s standards, there’s reason to believe that the club was excited at having at least struck upon the correct biological family: this was the Tigers logo from 1931 to 1960, a full 30 years.

1934 to 1960

All images courtesy Sports Logos.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


9 Responses to “Finding: Humans Incapable of Drawing Tigers Before 1961”

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  1. tylersnotes says:

    as notable is the fact that logo designers have, for the past 112 years, obviously confused the word ‘athletic’ and ‘elephant’ without anyone ever once correcting them.

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  2. Damaso's Burnt Shirt says:

    If only Bill Waterson did the Tiger’s logo then it would have been Hobbs peeing on various team logos.

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    • olethros says:

      Waterson didn’t draw a single one of those pissing stickers, they’re all knockoffs. Waterson refused all offers to merchandise or adapt Calvin & Hobbes.

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  3. DavidJ says:

    Oh dear, just look at those varicose veins on Bachelor #2. On his face! Poor thing.

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  4. Jim Bouldin says:

    The decision that tigers are typically blue and orange could have been thought through a little more thoroughly.

    I’ve seen animal crackers that surpass the 1901/02 attempt by a fair margin.

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  5. Gary Busey the Artist says:

    Lions, Tigers, Bears! Oh my!

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  6. Mary Lou Sky says:

    The tiger is such a magnificent creature that no drawing could do it justice.
    However, certain sports teams who take on the animal’s name should, at least, try to act the part.

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  7. Dwayne Carter says:

    Maybe they ain’t have zoos. We talkin’ ’bout 1901. Been to the Brooklyn Zoo once. Also went to another zoo in NY where all these folks were crowding around a polar bear’s cubicle lol’ing about him masturbating. I could tell none of them been to prison. We had a name for them in prison: “get this mf’er out my cell before I catch another murder charge”.

    That orange mf’er ain’t bad. Look crazy as hell. Put that face on Tony the Tiger saying GRRRREAT! and you got an internet meme no doubt (mines, like copyrighted). I tell my three year old son, you ever seen someone eyes look crazy like that, you just agree with whatever they saying and back back away. Something wrong with his coconut.

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