Way back in 2012, the Houston Astros were in the midst of the dark ages. They had just come off their second consecutive 100-loss season. They were headed to the American League after 51 years in the National League. It was a sad, tumultuous time in team history and not many people were happy.
The Astros tried to give the fans something to rally around by redesigning their uniforms which coincided with their move to the American League. The arbiters of uniform aesthetics over at Uniwatch were disappointed with what they saw.
"All the chatter about the Astros supposedly reviving the shooting star design turned out to be bunk, as the team unveiled an extremely conservative uni set yesterday…The most intriguing aspect of the set is the new BP jersey, which has tequila sunrise side panels (I like that) and will serve as the game jersey on Sundays (I’m not so nuts about that).Overall, I’m very surprised by how generic-seeeming [sic] this set is. Disappointed, too — feels too plain, too characterless. Obviously, there’s no extraneous nonsense, which is nice, but where’s the juice? I do like the caps. But the rest? Snoozers."
Houston fans had more to worry about than uniforms. The team produced a miserable product on the diamond and it seemed that there was no end in sight. Who in southeast Texas gave a flip about what the team was wearing? Not many. So, it seemed, the issue was dead.
Then a couple of weeks ago there came another highfalutin uniform critic who ranked the Houston uniforms as the 29th out of 30! The team ranks just ahead of the San Diego Padres.
"The Astros: when uniform redesigns go terrible [sic] wrong. Their current set is nothing special, a boring look that doesn’t do justice to the team’s colorful history. It’s almost as if they were too concerned with making the uniforms look like throwbacks and ended up looking like they tried too hard. The cap with the star and ‘H’ logo is nice, at least. But the Astros have such a fun, weird uniform heritage it’s too bad they don’t do more to call attention to it."
Too plain. Too boring. Not enough pizzazz.
Well, color me unimpressed by what those critics think.
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Maybe I’m too conservative in my clothing opinion, but I like the uniforms. The look is timeless. They feel like they could be around a while. Perhaps they should consider a hat swap, but I wouldn’t knock the kits as a whole. Then again, I also liked the brick red logo and pinstripes from the 2000s. It was certainly better than the mid-90s blue and grey with gold shooting star uniforms.
And I couldn’t disagree more with the 29th overall ranking. There are at least three other teams with more hideous kits than Houston’s: I’m looking at you Miami (fugly logo and color scheme), Arizona (what’s up with that font?), and Minnesota (pajama party, anyone?).
Yes, aesthetics are subjective. But since the Astros are on the upswing, can the critics lay off our boys in orange for the niggling things? We’ve finally got something going for us this year, uniforms be damned!