Houston Astros: New Sunday Alternate Uniform Revealed

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May 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; General view of a Houston Astros helmet and glove before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; General view of a Houston Astros helmet and glove before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Three years have barely past since the Houston Astros reintroduced their original navy blue-and-orange color scheme.

Flash forward to 2016 and the uniform set has largely remained the same plus a few minor tweaks. However, the navy blue alternate uniform with the famous “H-Star” over the left side had suddenly ceased being used on a consistent basis. Then it totally disappeared. Many players such as Dallas Keuchel were involved in the process, and he was particularly fond of the new alternate jersey, as were several other players

There has been speculation among Astros fans whether the team will stick with only the home white, road gray, and alternate orange as their only jerseys for the foreseeable future. After all, most teams besides only use 3-4 uniform variations. But some teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks prefer to employ more uniform designs so it wouldn’t be unheard of for a team to push the envelope when it comes to their current look. And don’t forget that the Astros were one of the original trail blazers when it came to uniform design. Tequila sunrise, anyone?

However, the Astros decided to embrace the past and introduce a new, yet familiar, navy blue alternate which doesn’t stray far from the modern look most teams employ. But I must say, the final result doesn’t disappoint!

The new Houston Astros navy blue alternate uniform revealed at the 2016 Fanfest.
The new Houston Astros navy blue alternate uniform revealed at the 2016 Fanfest. /

The new jersey serves as a nod to the Astros’ past while retaining a modern look and feel. At first glance, you will notice that the jersey logo is now written out in orange lettering, and the current logo adorns the left sleeve. An interesting fact regarding the primarily orange jersey lettering is that this is the first time since 1974 that the Astros uniform has the same feature.

Another nod to the past involves the infamous rainbow stripes that became an Astros staple throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, which is now being used as a side panel on the newest look.

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Per Mike Acosta, the Astros historian, the new uniform design was meant to show off a modern look while showcasing the team’s past during moments of action. The new replica jerseys are available in the Astros team store right now, as CTH Editor Eric Huysman purchased one as you can see here. But, you will have to wait a while for the authentic jersey, they take longer to make.

“When you stretch, you’re holding up a bat, or you are reaching out for a base or any type of play on the field, you get all of a sudden this glimpse of the rainbow uniform of the past,” Acosta states. He then adds, “Whereas if a player is crouched at third base or shortstop or first base, or they are waiting for the ball, it looks like a solid navy jersey, looks like a modern jersey.”

The new look is topped off with a new hat, which is an inverse of the current road variation. And like the new jersey, the hat does not disappoint and appears to be a great addition to the Astros current hat rotation.

With the recent uniform addition, the current rotation now sits at four. The newest design will be designated for Sunday home games to start out, but could be utilized as a road uniform if the player reaction is favorable. And it will also be used in place of the previous batting practice uni’s if players decide for it.

Next: Houston Astros FanFest 2016 Experience

All in all, the newest uniform is a solid addition as the Astros continue to embrace the navy blue-and-orange color scheme from their first thirty-plus years of existence. While it doesn’t stand out as truly out of the ordinary (see: Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016), there was no need to be as such with this design. Not only does this latest jersey and hat combination give the Astros another modern look that should be utilized for many years, but it also serves as a subtle, yet embracing, a nod of the past.

**Special thanks to Mike Acosta for taking time to speak with Climbing Tal’s Hill following the uniform unveiling during Saturday’s FanFest**

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