“It’s A Whole New Ballgame”. Sure it may not seem that way, but that’s the Astros slogan this year. Replacing the “Root Root Root” from last year, “It’s A Whole New Ballgame” can be seen in several places at Minute Maid Park. The Astros went with a whole new change to Minute Maid Park during the offseason. Of course the train and hill still exist (and we kind of need the hill to exist to so we can keep the website name), but a lot has changed since 2012. I had the chance to attend the Astros game this past week, and here are some of the new looks at MMP (pictures included).
The New Colors
The main change to MMP was the colors. Replacing the red and gold/white is now orange and blue. The colors, as shown here, are not too loud, but not too plain either. Every sign that previously had the red and gold/white look, has now been replaced with the orange and blue. The Astros also rebranded their title flags, and moved them around on the left field wall. You can still see the original places of these flags, but I suspect that may be fixed soon. I personally am a big fan of the new colors, and really like the way the new colors have turned out around the ballpark.
The next new look at MMP is the new home run alley. Behind the left-center field walls, there has always been a fun place to look at Astros history. Biggio’s 3000th hit wall. The Bagwell wall with 449 baseballs shaped in the number 449 to represent his 449 home runs. The NL Champions wall. All these have now been replaced with a different player on each of the four walls. In order from left to right (as seen below); Jimmy Wynn, Jose Cruz, Craig Biggio, and Jeff Bagwell.
Orbit The Mascot
I must admit that when I first heard about the new mascot, I just brushed it off. I really never understood what Junction Jack brought to the table. He would just walk around, take pictures with kids, and just be there. So when they announced that they switched to Orbit, I didn’t think much would change. Well to my delight, I was totally wrong. Orbit looks and acts almost like the Philly Phanatic, and though I have yet to attend a game at Citizens Bank Park, I have heard that the Phanatic is one of the best in the business. The 4-0 Rangers victory was pretty bad for an Astros fan, but Orbit did a good job entertaining the fans. I sat in the club section behind home plate and just watched Orbit do his thing for an inning. He would mess with people, take pictures, and did a better job entertaining me than the Astros did. When I watched Orbit, I could not help but think of Clutch the Rockets mascot. They had very similar qualities and that’s high praise coming from me as I am a big fan of Clutch. When you go to your next game, look for Orbit as I’m sure he will be more entertaining than some of the Astros games themselves.
The Astros did a good job changing up the ballpark. Of course the signage by the train tracks is a bit of an eye sore, but whatever can make money these days will be done. Also, the advertisements all over the outfield walls isn’t my favorite thing, but I understand the reasoning. The new colors, new home run alley, and new mascot are all a plus in my book, so make sure you check it out on your next visit to Minute Maid Park!