New Astro Uniforms, Old Models

Houston big league baseball began in 1962 as the Colt .45s.

Now that the door is closed on a team mascot name change in conjunction with Houston’s 2013 move to the American League, the “Astros” will be turning their attention to the less difficult task of designing a new color scheme and uniform style for the occasion. I’d say the odds on the “Astros” changing nothing about the uniforms for 2013 is about as remote as it was that they would change their name from that beloved space-rock-icon that so many season ticket holders apparently are so attached to keeping forever.

The only questions are: What are we going to ride as team’s New colors? And how about the design? Will the club go for something traditional or will they return to the marmalade fruit mix color scheme that we once experienced during the rainbow days? (All this discussion of style is not a bypass on the more important question: Will the team be going all out to make sure that the players who put on whatever uniforms provided are capable of getting better and winning it all?)

All the photos shown here today are available through the unceasing energy and passion of Astros Authentication Director Mike Acosta. Mike brought these to show the audience that attended our January 2012 SABR meeting. They are a literal parade of almost everything we have done in the past to garb our baseball warriors. The only iconic pattern missing prior to the current MMP uniform scheme is the rainbow-stripe sleeve uni that followed on the heels of the full rainbow garb. Mike showed that one too. I was just asleep at the wheel with my camera when he did.

As most know, that first one up top is the 1962-1964 Colt .45 style that Judge Hofheinz put into play without working out the legalities of using that name with the Colt .45 gun company. When that company began to press for revenue sharing on souvenir sales, the Judge had an easier solution in mind. He changed the name to “Astros,”

Aren’t we lucky?

At any rate, the questions are now settled as to who they are and moved over to how are they are going to dress out as a space-theme team playing on the apparent site of a 19th century railroad station that is located just two or three blocks away from Buffalo Bayou?

I like the simplicity of the Colt .45 uniform, plus the orange major color and the navy blue trim and cap color. An adaptation of the orange and navy colors with a new star logo that connected the club better to its historic setting at Minute Maid Park would work for me. Heck, I wouldn’t mind a return to the old shooting star uniform front. That’s enough antiquity patina for me.

From the 1960s: My all-time favorite shooting star.

The psychedelic 1970s saw the introduction of the famous/infamous rainbow jerseys that even today are the favorites of many fans. Amazingly, the marketplace of the 1970s had not yet caught up with the idea that actual replica jerseys could be a popular and pricey sales item. All the fans could get back then were tee shirt versions of the rainbow. Now they are available as one of the most expensive replica jerseys for sale anywhere.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Skies Are Blue.

You may be one of those people who would love to see the Astros return to the land of the rainbow to show their fighting colors. If you are, you also may want to speak up soon. Who knows? Maybe someone will listen.

The only other historical model I photographed from the Mike Acosta-Houston Astros Collection was that bland, almost colorless jersey that the club wore in the 1990s during their last few seasons at the Astrodome. (See the next and final photo.)

Plain Jane Could Not Explain - Why She Had Astros on the Brain.

That’s it. My only real point today is that I think the club will be researching and developing a “new look” for their 2013 American League debut and that this might be the best or only time for fans to organize and transmit to the club their own preferences.

For some fans, it doesn’t matter what they wear. It does matter to all of us how they play. If the Astros don’t commit to winning and actually take a World Series or two in the next decade or so, it isn’t going to matter much they wear, anyway.

One more thing: simplify the duds: whites for home; grey for the road. And no pinstripes. Pinstripes on any club besides the Yankees look like kid pajamas to me.

What do you think? And beyond a winning team, what do you want to see in the club’s public uniform look?


10 Responses to “New Astro Uniforms, Old Models”

  1. Patrick Lopez Says:

    I like the orange rainbow with shooting star,,,it has,just enough color

    without being too garish,

  2. Gary Says:

    I grew up on the rainbows, but the shooting star is the best jersey.

  3. John Watkins Says:

    It’s safe to say that he Colt .45s/Astros have never been known for stylish uniforms. Of those pictured here, the shooting star is the best. However, I’d favor a fresh start: total redesign along traditional lines.

  4. Michael McCroskey Says:


    I can tell you’re still upset about losing the chance for the Buffalo’s to return. You’ve got to think positive! Imagine the song, “Railway to Heaven!” Did we just pass a rainbow? There, we’ve got a theme now. Go ‘Stros!


    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Thank you, Dr. Phil.

      How about “You Can’t Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd,” podnah? That one works for me. – Does it work for you?

      Go Houston Babies, Red Stockings, Mud Cats, Magnolias, and Warriors too while we’re at it. And while we’re at it. let’s try to make sure our guys are dressed to the nines as big leaguers, not Friday Night slow pitch softballers.

  5. mike Says:

    I love the shooting star. Probably my favorite. But if any one gets brought back, I vote for the rainbow striped sleeves not pictured here. I really liked those, and they were pure Astros. And yes, please lose the pinstripes. PLEASE.

  6. Darrell Pittman Says:

    Jim Ransdell proposed a new/old design a couple of years back over at AD:

  7. russ99aus99 Says:

    I like the Ramsdell ideas, but I’d like to see a moderized “Astros” (not too modern like the mid 90s) and some minimized implementation of the shooting star idea.

    Going back to Blue and Orange is a necessity.

  8. Jerry King Says:

    Shooting star with rainbow great go with tradition. Winning would help too . Jerry

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