‘Magnum P.I.’: The Significance of Tom Selleck’s Tigers Cap

by Taylor Cunningham

As many classic TV fans recall, Tom Selleck almost always wore a Detroit Tigers cap while solving crimes on Magnum P.I. And there is a charming reason for it.

Thomas Magnum wore the hat as a nod to Selleck’s favorite baseball team. The actor was born in Detroit and lived there for the first few years of his life. And while his family moved to Sherman Oaks, California, when he was three, he remained true to his hometown team.

He carried his Detroit Tigers love into his adulthood and represented the team whenever possible. In 1986, a Michigan news station even caught him on the field donning a Tiger’s uniform during batting practice one day. And he managed to hit a home run for the camera.

After he was done showing off, a reporter asked him if he follows the team and Selleck swiftly replied, “always” before complaining that sporting news seems to reach him “a week and a half late” in California.

Fast forward 36 years later, and Tom Selleck is still rooting for his home team. While chatting with Michigan Matters, the 77-year-old confirmed that it was his idea to top Magnum’s island attire with a Tigers hat because it not only paid tribute but it also seemed fitting.

“I was born in Detroit, and have been a Tigers fan all my life.” Selleck shared, “Basically, I felt Magnum was a ball-cap kinda guy. And I just said ‘I wanna wear the Detroit Tigers cap.”

Tom Selleck is Advocating For His ‘Magnum P.I.’ Shorts

Thanks to the producers agreeing to the costume addition, wearing a Tigers hat became a trend during the time. And decades later, the look has helped the character become even more iconic.

The infamously short shorts are also a wardrobe detail that has left a lasting impression on Magnum P.I. fans. And those are another staple that Tom Selleck is defending to this day.

As he shared with Kelly Clarkson, he gets “a lot of questions” about the barely there bottoms. But Clarkson noted that high hemlines were just on trend in the 80s. And if anyone could pull them off, it was Selleck—because he has some “nice legs.”

And interestingly, Selleck thinks they’re slowly popping up in the 2020s. And soon, the Magnum look will be the norm, which is great news cause the style makes sense.

“That’s what shorts are, shorts are shorts,” he said, later adding that “those pajama bottoms that they wore for about the last decade are silly. You can trip on them.”

But he noted that people today are much more pragmatic about their clothing choices.

“[Short shorts are] coming back up, look at the basketball players,” she shared with a smile. “Shorts are coming back to where they’re supposed to be.”