50 Years of Astros Baseball
The Astros are celebrating 50 years of being a Major League franchise, yes, i knoe that the Astros celebrated the 45th only two years ago, but that was 45 years of being called the Astros, this celebrates 50 years of the franchise, from when the Houston Sports Association tried to form the Continental League to rival the American and National league, after they refused to expand, but the threat of losing potential markets convinced them to expand, thus, achieving the goal that the HSA wanted, getting Houston a major league franchise.This article is going to take you back in time; from the 60’s to the many jersey experiments the Astros ran in the early 2000’s, to the uniforms we have in the cycle of today. From Pistols to Pinstripes and everything in between, these are your Astros.
A modest beginning for the Houston franchise, the name was chosen in a “name the team” contest. Personally, i like this jersey, for its time, it’s very decorated and it is very beautiful. At that time, aesthetics was not a main concern of “jersey/logo designers” and when looking at other jerseys from this time era, the discrepancies between this logo/jersey is very large, and in my opinion, blows other logos and jerseys right out of the water. Simply cannot wait to see this in Flashback Fridays next season.
Transition to the Astros: 1965-1970:
This was the first Astros jersey ever, i like this one, the change to the Astros went over well, and this is a very beautiful, and the “shooting star” compliments the blue and orange hat, the away grey is very lacking and bland, while not changing from the Colt .45’s away, except for the Astrodome patch Despite dropping the ball on an away jersey, the blue hat and the orange star really saved it; you can argue that the color scheme did not change, so why change an away jersey, but why not! They revitalized the entire franchise, why not just improve the away jerseys as well? Maybe the owners saw that the changing of the away jersey was trivial and unnecessary, thus them leaving it as is.
Change to Orange: 1971-1975
The Astros officially utilized the orange in their color pallet, i liked the orange cap and the orange dominance of the color scheme! In my opinion, i thought that this was the best they could have done with this jersey as far as this jersey design goes. I applaud who ever thought of this.
The Rainbow years: 1975-80
Well, this a north and south to the last uniform… the rainbow definitely caught many eyes, and probably insulted league wide, referred to being similar to the Creamsicles of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Although there was many variants of this jersey, the next set did not feature the number on the crotch, the away jersey did away with the rainbow and only had the star on a gray background along with the Astros written above it, and an alternate introduced the same type of jersey but the jersey was white rather than gray (pictured below)
Rainbows get the Cold Shoulder: 1987-1993:
So we finally get rid of the rainbow across the midsection, and move them to our shoulders, the best out of all the uniforms up until that point, i liked the away grey, not deviating much from keeping the home and away uniforms similar, a move that I liked, yet deviated from tradition of having the city. I think the rainbow on the shoulder was the best decision they could have made, and change the look of the jerseys without alienating the color pallet, or the fan base. I commend this movement, I loved this color pattern and how the color of the Astrodome seats throughout the circular seating rows in the dome complimented the jerseys, it was beautiful and really looked as if the team belonged in the quaint Astrodome.
Midnight Blue & Gold: 1994-1999
My favorite of all the Astros’ “retro” jerseys, I was introduced to the Astros while they wore these Jerseys, and saw my first Astros game in 1998, in the Astrodome, versus the Pirates, although i do not remember much of the game, I remember sitting high atop the Astrodome, the walk up to the Dome and the big video board we sat next to. The Astrodome was a beautiful stadiuIm, and I pray that the Astros will play one game in the Astrodome, one last time. These jerseys were so beautiful and captivated me when the Astros first took the field that day; no matter how much people criticize them, I will defend them, and will most certainly purchase this hat with the 50 year anniversary patch on it. Despite attending many events at the Astrodome while living in Houston ( WWF Wrestlemania X-7, Monster truck rallies, and even an Oilers game) I only attended two Astros Astrodome games, my dream of one last Astros game in the dome seems farfetched to those i pitch the idea to, yet, in my heart and mind, somewhere, I believe we will open up the Astrodome for one last game. The 1990’s Astros were my favorite, hands down. Not pictured are my favorite alternate, black with the shooting star, the precursor to my next favorite Astros alternate…
Crazy Experiments: 2000-today
Pictured are all of the home alternates, one not pictured is my favorite, one similar to the last one, but instead of “Astros” it only features the red star on the left chest of a black jersey. The white is the Saturday home alternate, which is one of my current favorites, and the second is an alternate used on various days. Finally, a black alternate used at home (a similar one was used as an away jersey) I liked when the Astros used black, but the Houston heat was too much as the roof of then, Enron Field was usually opened, especially on hot days. Not pictured is the white Saturday alternate similar to the black one I just described, only the jersey is white with the red star.
The away jerseys really didn’t allow us much option, as is typical with Houston, but the brick red jersey became a fixture in our attire, and I think it’s good enough having at least two options when it come to an away jersey is good enough. The cursive script is very nice, and brings an “old school” look to it and brick hat compliments the red lettering on the grey, as the brick red star compliments the jersey, a great scheme and design by Houston!
So all of the retro jerseys will be featured on Flashback Fridays throughout the season, it’s definitely going to be amazing and definitely a great year for Astros baseball as this is the year I see us bouncing back and doing something great, after our first 100+ loss season, this group of young Astros will come out with a chip on their shoulder for sure. LET’S GO ASTROS!!
– Richard Perez