Tonight, when the Houston Astros take the field against the Atlanta Braves, they will be wearing throwback uniforms featuring the logo that the Houston Colt .45s wore from 1962 to 1964. But this is not a simple case of a team wearing a retro uniform.
Before the season began, back in February, Astros Senior Director of Social Media Alyson Footer wrote this on her MLB Pro Blog: “The Astros will wear retro jerseys from past decades every Friday home game this year, starting with the Colt .45s (minus the pistol, which was deemed inappropriate to include on a uniform).”
Predictably, this caused controversy. You are saying to yourself: But today is not a Friday! Controversy, right? Well, Ms. Footer told us on Twitter that today, while it is indeed not a Friday, is the 50th anniversary of the Colt .45s’ first game.
Okay, so the real controversy was from that parenthetical note in Ms. Footer’s blog that the gun would be removed from the old Colt .45s logo. If you read blogs (or worse yet, the comments on blogs), you know that the whole world has gone crazy and PC zombies are ruining life for the rest of us.
Am I the only one who thinks it was an okay idea to remove the image of a deadly firearm from a baseball team’s logo? Not to be overly sensitive, but I’m not convinced we need to illustrate an instrument of death on a baseball uniform. More importantly, it wasn’t that great a logo.
One of the outcries from the Houston faithful (I’m sorry, that phrase just cracks me up) is that a classic logo was being desecrated. It’s possible that these Houston faithful are confusing the word classic with old. The logo in question was only around for three years, and it was worn by some pretty sorry teams (a combined 92 games under .500 over three seasons). I am actually surprised to find myself on this side of this argument, because in my real life, I am a graphic designer, and I love old logos. But I am also a person who recognizes that there are people in the world who have some terrible associations with guns, and I agree with Major League Baseball that maybe we don’t need to feature them on baseball uniforms.
Through all of this, Major League Baseball and the Houston Astros learned something interesting: People in Texas like guns. So they reversed course and went back to the original logo. On March 9, in the least surprising press release since the Vatican announced that the Pope wears a funny hat, Houston Astros owner Jim “The Karate Kid” Crane announced: “We listened to our fans, who were almost unanimously in favor of wearing the original jersey.”
So tonight, the Astros will trot out on the field with a gun emblazoned on their uniforms, but it still doesn’t sit right with me.
Because I am a graphic designer, I thought I would offer a solution. I realize that you can’t just remove the gun from the old Colt .45s logo and leave a big, gaping hole in the composition, especially since the C of Colt is meant to look like smoke coming from the gun.
So completely pro bono, I have designed an alternate retro logo for the Astros to wear tonight, slightly different from the original, but which I believe still honors the proud history of this terrible franchise. The fierce, horse-like figure plays off an alternate meaning of the word colt, and the C now looks like an extension of the majestic, flowing mane of the unicorn. I am confident that people who really liked the old Colt .45s logo will find this alternative more than acceptable.
If they, hurry, there’s still time to get jerseys made up with my alternate logo before tonight’s game.
Houston baseball fans: You’re welcome.