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great article... very informative. i've always been a fan of the rainbow myself. one thing i never understood, though, is what exactly is an "astro?" is it representative of astronomical phenomena in general? is it an abbreviation of astronaut? it would appear to be the former since there's no obvious reference to a human form. grammatically speaking, "astro" is a prefix. it's kinda like naming a team something like the "electro's" or the "ultra's." actually, those ain't so bad... they're sure as hell better than "wild" or "magic."

Bob Hulsey

The name "Astros" was the creation of Judge Roy Hofheinz. It was meant as a tribute to the NASA astronauts. Hofheinz ran into legal trouble over the use of the name "Colt .45s" so he wanted a term that he could copyright as his own - thus "Astros", not "astronauts".

Same thing is true of some other teams of the time. There is no such noun as a "Met" or a "Royal" or an "Expo" aside from the baseball players. Aside from baseball, there is no such thing as an "Astro".


in other words, everything went to hell in a handbag in the '60s. :-)

i was watching "the right stuff" the other night and noticed a newspaper headline that used the term "astros" as an abbreviation of astronaut. i'd not noticed that before and had never really considered "astro" as an abbreviation of "astronaut."

on a completely unrelated note, the phillies are the only big 4 pro team i can think of that is named for the city they represent. the angels are close, and the name "twins" is representative, but it's just not the same. similarly, the cleveland browns are the only big 4 pro team i can think of that's named after a coach... depending on which version of the name origin story you hear. sorry for digressing.

Geent Hunder

Bob, one inaccuracy in the entry about the Astros/.45 uniform history. The Astros’ Tequila Sunrise uniform never featured hot pink. It was three different shades of orange and one shade of yellow.


One misleading detail: they switched to predominantly orange unis in 1971, yes, but they didn't get the elastic waistbands until 1972. For one glorious year ('71), they wore what, IMHO, might have been the best unis in MLB history (orange trimmed in blue, but with REAL belts - orange, of course). And I'm not even an Astros fan!


Nice, thorough article. One minor correction: The Astros' current brick alternate cap has a sand star. The D'Backs use black on a brick cap.

Before they started using the brick jerseys, they minor details on this set of uniforms (the star on the cap, the number or name on the jersey) always looked more like a dark shade of orange than red to me, which was a nice nod to their history. Now they look maroon all the time on the road. Too bad, as their confusion of colors is surpassed only by the Padres.


In 1994, the Astros must have made Mrs. McMullen happy by dropping orange from the color scheme. Navy blue was replaced by a darker midnight blue while a metallic gold served as the accent color, the first time a big league team had used any metallic color in their equipment.

First, unless you consider that the White Sox adopted silver as one of their colors in 1991 (and wore these uniforms for the first time in the last two weeks of 1990).

Other Bud

Late to the party, but the Mariners' color scheme added metallic silver in 1993, as well.

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