Kyle Lobstein’s lobster hat at TigerFest
For a trip up north into the thick of the Michigan winter, most players try to enjoy themselves when they come to town for TigerFest. Kyle Lobstein might have more fun with it than most.
When the Tigers left-hander wasn’t photobombing pictures of other players with fans during Saturday’s event at Comerica Park, he was creating a stir with his hat, a giant lobster-shaped cap complete with eyes and antennae. The hat was personalized with Lobstein’s number 53 on the sides, his name on the back, and “Crustacean Sensation” on the top.
It was a visual demonstration of a nickname he undoubtedly heard often while he was growing up. The kicker, though, is that Lobstein’s family was in on the joke.
The hat, Lobstein said, came from a family member. Though Lobstein grew up in Arizona and makes his offseason home there, he has a sizeable family presence in Michigan, which gave him a loud cheering section at Comerica Park when he made his first Major League start against the Yankees last August.
Lobstein went 1-2 with a 4.35 ERA in seven games with the Tigers as a rookie last year. The 25-year-old beat the eventual World Champion Giants with 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball Sept. 7 in Detroit.
For years, Giants fans made a sensation out of Panda hats in honor of Pablo Sandoval, now with the Red Sox. If Lobstein finds his way back into the Tigers rotation this year — he’s currently a backup option who could make the Opening Day as a reliever — his hat could become a hit with his family, if not fans.
“Maybe it’ll catch on,” Lobstein said with a smile and a shrug.