The Houston Astros are wearing throwbacks to their earliest jerseys this season... but are being forced by MLB to change them, and owner Jim Crane isn't happy about that.
The Houston Astros are wearing a throwback jersey on a couple of occasions this season in order to honor the 50th anniversary of the franchise and to commemorate the fact that for the first three years of the team, they were known as the Houston Colt .45s.
That's right. The team was named after a gun. Someone at MLB, however, has chosen to whitewash actual history. The actual jersey the team wore from 1962-64 is on the left; the throwback the Astros will wear this year on the right (from Uni-Watch at ESPN.com):
I think you can see the problem here. Not only is it historically inaccurate, but it makes no sense to have the "C" be a wisp of smoke coming from a gun -- the clear intent of the original shirt -- without an actual gun on the shirt.
Now, according to Big League Stew, even Astros owner Jim Crane isn't happy with MLB's decision to not allow an accurate throwback. He received a letter from a Marine captain; BLS has part of Crane's response (and the whole letter reproduced at the link above):
Thank you for your comments concerning the Colt .45s jersey. I would like to say up front that I agree with you. Unfortunately, MLB has made this a requirement and their decisions are out of our control.
Look, I think I understand the reasoning here; it's the same reasoning that forced the NBA's Washington Bullets to change their name to Wizards. Pro sports don't want to be seen as glorifying gun violence.
But they existed. They were an official part of Major League Baseball for three seasons, as was the team name "Colt .45s". Denying that history is wrong, especially when supposed to be celebrating it.