DETROIT — It all started because of Tyler Collins.
The Tigers were in Houston for a three-game series against the Astros in mid-April. Getaway day came and went with a 2-1 series loss, but it’s what happened after that third game that sparked a trend.
Collins and Nick Castellanos had gone to a mall in Houston, and they wandered into a small boutique. There hung the rubber ducky tank top.
“I’ve always worn tank tops under my jerseys,” Castellanos said with a smile. “So, Tyler was like ‘Aw man, you gotta wear that one.’ So, I wore it and I started doing really well. Without really even thinking about it I gave an interview with it on, and it just kind of took off.”
Ah yes. That interview. Castellanos had been wearing the shirt for a while at this point. On April 30, he was headed for the showers after a 4-1 win at Minnesota against the Twins. But before he could escape, the Fox Sports Detroit camera crew with John Keating asked for a quick interview.
The first question was about the rubber ducky tank top.
Since then, Castellanos’ rubber ducky collection has grown, much like the Tigers’ “Goggles On” ritual this year.
He’s had fans send him various ducky-themed gifts, which included a Mardi Gras-like necklace with mini rubber duckies of different sizes strung to it. Teammates have bought him things, like the blue socks that hang at his locker with rubber duckies on them.
And amid the odds and ends, there’s a camo-themed clothing item ... with giant rubber duckies everywhere. All of which still occupy Castellanos’ locker to this day.
“And it all started just because TC was like ‘oh you won’t buy a rubber ducky tank top,’” Castellanos laughed.