Houston Astros Need To Make Up Their Mind
The Houston Astros change uniforms like I change socks. I started following the team religiously in 1985. They’ve been through what, seven different unis since then? Some good, some bad; the infamous “rainbow” jerseys were more costumes than uniforms. Call me old fashion but it was much too clownish for baseball, a Technicolor assault on the eyes. Admittedly, I don’t mind them now when they appear among fans or on retro-days at the park. But be honest folks; that was some kind of crummy baseball fashion.
I like the old, minimalist unis. To me, the Boston Red Sox perfected baseball style. Very plain but iconic and cool; and the longevity of it has seared the image into the collective baseball memory. It connects Curt Schilling with Roger Clemens with Carlton Fisk with Ted Williams. That continuity lends legitimacy and class to every new Red Sox team.
The Red Sox uniform cannot be replicated nor should it be. But it would be nice if the younger teams and my Houston Astros in particular would set upon a good design and stick with it. I know that part of the motivation for the evolving designs is to promote the sales of Stros gear. Seems to me they can get that money back via the silly pink and camo versions they sell to casual fans while keeping the basic fonts consistent with the ones on the field for the baseball addicted.
During the 1970’s and early 1980’s, the Astros apparently hired Greg Brady to produce some of the grooviest but un-baseball jerseys of all time. It was such a welcome change when Drayton McLane’s club finally went traditional with the Astros pinstripe/brick style unis that our home team wore into their first World Series. For my money though, the greatest Houston branding was the now ancient Colt .45’s trademark. It was stylish and very Texan. When Uncle Drayton sold the team and a makeover was announced, I really hoped that they would revert to back to the .45’s label. They didn’t.
What they did do was take on a very tasteful, traditional uniform that follows the simple but attractive tradition of the old teams like Boston. The dark orange-bordered block letters spelling “Houston” and “Astros” across the chest are even better than the old pinstripe/brick unis. It really seems like a nod to the Colts and to the old orange star era of Doug Rader and Larry Dierker; a classy and wise choice from an ownership whose brief history has been anything but.
Now; can we just stick with this one? Can we start a new tradition and let it ride? That remains to be seen. It would be nice if fifty years from now, the Houston Astros were wearing the same gear when they welcome old timers George Springer and Jose Altuve onto the field to celebrate how they turned an ailing franchise around. But if it’s not this design, then pick another one and call it. Hell, I don’t care if it’s the old paint vomit rainbow jerseys. Just make up your damn mind and stick with it.