The 5oth anniversary of the Houston Astros is being celebrated this year. Good timing too, since there isn’t anything else to celebrate except the 10th anniversary of the name change from Enron Field to Minute Maid Park. Anyway, the team is celebrating their existence by wearing alternate jerseys this season. Most are familiar with their famed jersey from the Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott years, but the team also plans to wear jerseys from their first 3 years in existence, from when they were known as the Colt .45s. However, MLB won’t allow them to wear them without revisions to the design.
Yes, MLB has deemed having a logo that has a gun inappropriate. Never mind that MLB has never forced the Indians to get rid of the Chief Wahoo logo, which screams racism, but a gun on a jersey might encourage people to buy a gun or something. Paul Lukas at Uni-Watch brings up the excellent point about the caliber of the gun being on the hat, but MLB has said nothing about that. It is just absurd that Bud Selig and the league are taking issue with the jersey. Lukas also points out the ridiculousness of MLB to ignore history:
Finally, there’s the problem of trying to whitewash or sugarcoat history. Would a new team be able to call itself the Colt .45s and put a pistol on its jersey today? Nope. But things were different 50 years ago. That’s part of why we have throwback games — to serve as history lessons, to remind us, to show us, how things have changed. The Negro Leagues existed because of unforgivable racism, but we don’t pretend that none of that happened. Instead, we acknowledge that it took place and try to learn from it. I’m not trying to equate a pistol on a jersey with racial bigotry, mind you. I’m trying to say that revisionist history is always a sucker’s game.
I appreciate that kids who follow the Astros will only see about 374 references to guns on April 5, instead of 375. Viewed in a vacuum, that’s a good thing. But in the broader context, those kids will also be seeing a false depiction of the past, and that’s a bad thing. And for those of us old enough not to need to be shielded from the truth, we’ll be denied the chance to see one of baseball’s most interesting jerseys — a jersey most of us have never seen on the field before. And that’s a drag.
MLB is being way too image conscience. Besides, not many outside the Houston area and whoever they were playing would notice the jerseys, as NOBODY cares about the Astros. Kinda like how nobody cared about the Washington Bullets.